J. Sinclair MarksAutomobile buffJ. Sinclair Marks, a...

J. Sinclair Marks

Automobile buff


J. Sinclair Marks, a retired W. R. Grace & Co. official and auto buff, died Sunday of respiratory failure at his Catonsville home. He was 83.

He retired in 1976 as vice president of Grace's agricultural chemicals group, with responsibility for the acquisition of fertilizer and feed companies and overseas expansion.


He began his career at Miller Fertilizer Co. in 1929 and became a bookkeeper when the company was acquired by Davison Chemical Co. in 1935. The next year, he was appointed corporate accountant and, in 1943, superintendent of production control at Davison's Curtis Bay plant. He was promoted to assistant treasurer in 1951, and treasurer in 1954, the year that Grace acquired the company.

Mr. Marks was raised in Charles Village and worked as a soda jerk, and as an office boy at Alex. Brown & Sons to help support his widowed mother while attending City College at night. He became a certified public accountant in 1939.

He taught advanced cost accounting in the Johns Hopkins Evening School during the 1960s.

"His was truly an Horatio Alger story," said his daughter, Bayly Ellen Marks of Chestertown. "He started at the bottom and became successful. He urged younger staff members not to be satisfied with being just a bookkeeper but to go on and get their CPAs. He was a great believer in education."

After Mr. Marks retired, he was a consultant for Grace, a board member of Kimmell Tire Co., and, during the 1980s, a teller of elections for Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co., counting ballots at the annual shareholder meetings.

An auto buff, he owned several classic Mercedes-Benz automobiles, and was a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America and the Mercedes-Benz Club.

He and his wife, the former Lillian Bayly Johnson, whom he married in 1937, maintained a summer house in Severn Forest, near Annapolis, where he liked to go crabbing.

He was a member of the Maryland CPA Association, the Merchants Club, St. Andrew's Society and the Severn River Association.


A memorial service was to be held at 11 a.m. today at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he also is survived by a half-sister, Mary Frances Manning of Roland Park.

Memorial donations may be made to the Bryn Mawr School, 100 W. Melrose Ave., Baltimore 21210.

Walter F. Nechey

Army colonel

Retired Army Col. Walter F. Nechey died Saturday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after a heart attack. He was 73 and lived in Odenton.


Colonel Nechey retired in 1971 as a plans, training and security officer at Fort Meade.

During World War II, he entered the Army as a second lieutenant in 1942, and was assigned to the 26th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division. He remained with that outfit through combat in North Africa, Sicily, France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Germany, and during the postwar occupation of Germany.

His decorations include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with V and four Oak Leaf Clusters, and a Purple Heart for a gunshot wound during the Battle of the Bulge.

Born in Baltimore, he was a 1940 graduate of the Charlotte Hall Military Academy and attended the University of Maryland before entering the Army. He also attended the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, the former Bertha Agnes Placek; a daughter, Jacqueline Coan of Moscow, Idaho; two sisters, Olga Bell of Parkville and Nancy Nechay of Baltimore; a brother, Rudy Nechay of Boring; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday. William R. Smith, who had worked for the state, Baltimore and Baltimore County before he retired about 10 years ago, died May 25 of cancer at Sinai Hospital. He was 67 and lived in Ashburton.


Mr. Smith was a minority business enterprise officer in the county Department of Public Works when he retired. He went to work for the county in 1980 after two years as an investigator with the State Fire Marshal's office.

In 1950, he began working for the city, first as a social worker and then as superintendent of housing inspection, leaving in 1978.

Born in Glen Burnie, he was a 1944 graduate of Bates High School in Annapolis. He served in the Army during World War II and the Korean War.

He was a 1950 graduate of then-Morgan State College.

He was a member of several groups, including the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and the Prince Hall Masons.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, the former Carolyn L. Matthews; a daughter, Lorraine Smith of Gaithersburg; a son, Wendell Smith of Lochearn; three sisters, Myrtle Williams, Florence Drayton and Dorothy Smith, all of Baltimore; a brother, Charles Smith of Baltimore; and three grandsons.


Services were held yesterday.

June M. Plitt, a former Maryland Employment and Social Services supervisor who was active in patriotic organizations, died Tuesday of heart failure at her home at One Hundred West University Apartments. She was 78.

Mrs. Plitt retired from the state agency in 1978 after a 20-year career as a placement officer.

The former June Morris was born in Richmond, Va., and moved to Baltimore as a child. She was educated in public and private schools in Baltimore.

In 1937, she married August V. Plitt, a bookbinder, and the couple settled on Clarkson Street in South Baltimore. Mr. Plitt died in 1966.

During World War II, Mrs. Plitt was a civil defense air raid warden and organized scrap drives.


She was a member of the National Society of Southern Dames and had been active in the Baltimore Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, editing the group's newsletter and participating in its annual scholarship program. She also had been president of the James Wheeler Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and was a member of the Maryland Historical Society.

She was a longtime member of the Republican Party of Baltimore and the Hopkins Republican Club.

Services were to be held at 10 a.m. today at McCully Funeral Home of South Baltimore, 130 E. Fort Ave.

A son, August V. Plitt III, died in 1988.

She is survived by two other sons, Joseph B. Plitt of South Baltimore and Thomas E. Plitt of Downingtown, Pa.; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a special friend,

the Rev. Robert Flottemesch.


Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 17025, Baltimore 21203.

Edna D. Johnson

Consumer specialist

Edna DeCoursey Johnson, a former teacher and consumer protection specialist for the Baltimore Urban League, died May 23 of cancer at Ashburton Nursing Home. She was 72 and lived in Northwest Baltimore.

Mrs. Johnson retired from the Baltimore Urban League about 10 years ago. She began working there in 1963 after 19 years as a teacher in Baltimore City elementary schools.

The former Edna DeCoursey was a native of Baltimore and a 1940 graduate of Douglass High School. For many years, she was secretary of her class.


Mrs. Johnson graduated from Coppin State College in 1944, and did graduate work at Rutgers University, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, the University of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University.

She was a former president of the local unit and a former governor of the Middle Atlantic region of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs. She was also on the boards of the Maryland Consumers Association and the Citizens Planning and Housing Association.

She was a member of the Maryland Commission for Women and the Consumers Union of the United States.

Services were held yesterday.

Survivors include her husband, Laurence Johnson; and a sister, Sarah Dyce of Baltimore.

Estella M. Reich Kalb, who farmed for 55 years with her husband in Woodlawn, died Sunday at home of cardiac arrest. She was 91.


She and her husband, Edgar A. Kalb, began working Rolling Road Farm, a 40-acre dairy and poultry farm, after their marriage in 1930. The farm had been in Mr. Kalb's family for more than 200 years.

The couple eventually expanded the farm to 130 acres, and operated a retail route that delivered produce, butter, cottage cheese and turkeys at holiday time to customers in Catonsville and West Baltimore.

Known as Honey, she was born and raised in Catonsville and was a 1922 graduate of Catonsville High School.

She was a member of the historic Old Salem Lutheran Church and the Emmarts United Methodist Church.

Services were held yesterday.

She is survived by her husband; a son, David R. Kalb of Bozman; a sister, Charlotte M. Whitehead of Ann Arbor, Mich.; three grandsons; and two great-grandchildren.


Memorial donations may be made to Emmarts United Methodist Church, 7100 Dogwood Road, Baltimore 21244; or Old Salem Lutheran Church, Catonsville 21228.

Samuel S. Rodner

Sun route owner

Samuel S. Rodner, a retired Baltimore Sun route owner in the Pikesville area, died Wednesday of lung cancer at Stella Maris Hospice. He was 79.

Mr. Rodner operated a 50-mile route, once one of the largest, from 1941 until he retired in 1985. He was a member for many years of the old Sun Route Owners' Association Inc.

In 1953, he appeared on "Know Your Sunpapers Route Owner," a weekly feature that was broadcast on WMAR-TV.


Born in Poland, Mr. Rodner emigrated to Baltimore with his parents when he was a teen-ager. The family settled on Pulaski Street. He was a 1934 graduate of City College.

Services were to be held at 10 a.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Inc., 6010 Reisterstown Road.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, the former Rose Levinetwo sons, Barry J. Rodner of Pikesville and Leslie D. Rodner of Gaithersburg; and a sister, Bessie Smith of Baltimore.

Memorial donations may be made to Stella Maris Hospice, 230Dulaney Valley Road, Towson 21204.

Joseph A. Nogal

NSA employee


Joseph A. Nogal, who had worked at the National Security Agency at Fort Meade since 1964, died Monday at Anne Arundel Medical Center of a heart attack. He was 55 and lived in Cape St. Claire.

The Chicago native attended Indiana University and received a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland. He served in the Air Force from 1959 until 1963.

Services were held yesterday.

He is survived by his wife, the former Carolyn Jericek; a son, Scott Joseph Nogal of Baltimore; two daughters, Deena Miller of Norfolk, Va., and Terri Nogal of Arnold; a sister, Ruth Gorby of Houston; and a grandson.