Mary Harper BladesFormer nurseMary Harper Blades, a...


Mary Harper Blades

Former nurse

Mary Harper Blades, a former nurse who was active in church and community groups in Preston and Easton, died Tuesday of respiratory failure at Memorial Hospital in Easton. She was 85.

She had lived in Preston for many years before moving to Easton in 1986.

A native of Gloucester County, Va., who was reared there and in Hurlock, the former Mary Harper was a 1927 graduate of the Germantown Hospital School of Nursing. She was a supervisor of the surgical ward at the hospital before her marriage in 1931 to Alva T. Blades.

Mr. Blades retired as chairman of the board of the Preston Corp., the parent of the Preston Trucking Co., which he founded.

At the Bethesda United Methodist Church in in Preston, she was a member of the United Methodist Women.

Services were scheduled for 1 p.m. today at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Preston.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a brother, Robert M. Harper of Preston; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations may be made to the church.

Katharine K. Berry

Hospital clerk

Katharine King Berry, a former Towson resident who worked in Washington for many years, died Nov. 23 of heart failure at the Noble Horizons Retirement Community in Salisbury, Conn., where she had moved in 1988. She was 83.

From 1958 to 1987, she lived in the Washington area. She was an admitting clerk at Sibley Memorial Hospital and a secretary at the Hillcrest Children's Center. She also worked at the Chestnut Lodge in Rockville and in the education and recreation office of Leisure World in Silver Spring, and at the Over Sixty Employment Service of Montgomery County.

She was reared in Towson and was a 1928 graduate of Towson High School. She received a bachelor's degree from Goucher College in 1932.

She married Frank Ehlen in 1939, and the couple lived in Towson until his death in 1949. In 1950, she married Charles A. Berry, and they lived in King George County, Va., until 1958, when they were divorced.

She was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in King George County, where she sang in the choir and belonged to the Women's Auxiliary. She had also been active in the Samuel Ready School PTA.

At Leisure World, she was a member of the Fun and Fancy theater troupe and the Pumpkin Hollow Trio, a singing group.

Services were held in Connecticut Nov. 24. Graveside services were to be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Greenmount Cemetery, Greenmount Avenue and Oliver Street in Baltimore.

She is survived by two daughters, Katharine Brydon Ehlen Fitzgerald of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Martha Ehlen Fitzgerald of Lakeville, Conn.; and three grandchildren.

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