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Paul B. Imhoff, 72, World War II...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Paul B. Imhoff, 72, World War II veteran

Paul B. Imhoff, 72, a former Navy tail gunner who fought in the Pacific theater during World War II, died Wednesday of cardiac arrest while visiting a friend in Reisterstown. He lived in Ellicott City.

Mr. Imhoff was born in Baltimore in 1923. He attended Polytechnic Institute, but dropped out in the 10th grade to enlist in the Navy at 17. He was serving on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Rooseveltwhen a Japanese attack blew him off the ship.

In rough seas, he spent seven hours waiting to be rescued, with a Marine captain holding on to him. Mr. Imhoff, the only one of the two wearing a life preserver, repeatedly urged the captain not to give in to exhaustion and let go. During the war, he often volunteered for missions.

"He was young and he was very, very patriotic," said his companion, Regina M. Balcerzak.

Mr. Imhoff later became a parcel post carrier in the U.S. Postal Service, retiring in 1980 after 37 years. He belonged to the Oriole branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers and attended many of the association's conventions.

A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. today at Sacred Heart Church in Glyndon.

Other survivors include a daughter, Joan Ackerman of Hunt Valley; a sister, Mary Stine of Hamilton; and a brother, Joseph Imhoff of Rosedale.

Ruth Bates Kirk, 78, Eastern Star member

Ruth Bates Kirk, a life member of the Order of the Eastern Star, died Tuesday at the River View Nursing Home in Essex after a long bout with Alzheimer's disease. She was 78. She was born in Lobelville, Tenn., the fourth of seven sisters. Mrs. Kirk, who also had seven half-brothers and half-sisters, grew up in Tennessee and moved to Baltimore in 1939. She was married to Jess Willard Kirk that year.

She was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Dundalk United Methodist Church.

In addition to her husband of 56 years, survivors include her son, Thomas Clark Kirk of Knoxville, Pa.; her daughter-in-law, Elaine Kirk; and three grandchildren, Stephen, Heather and Jennifer Kirk of Knoxville, Pa.

She also is survived by four sisters, Earline Wright of Chevy Chase, Georgia Smith of Johnson City, Tenn., Mildred Klein of Springfield, Va., and Katherine Rambo of Franklin, Tenn.

Another sister, Bernice Ashton of Lobelville, died on the same day and within two hours of Mrs. Kirk. She was 87.

Rebecca E. Hancock, secretary for three churches

Rebecca Elizabeth Hancock, who worked as a secretary for three area churches, died Oct. 15 of congestive heart failure at the Wilson Health Care Center of the Asbury Methodist Home in Gaithersburg. She was 91.

She was born in Norfolk, Va., in 1903 and lived in Baltimore most of her life. She worked as a bookkeeper for Blum's Department Store and as a secretary for the Howard Park Methodist Church, North Avenue Methodist Church and Catonsville Presbyterian Church, where she retired.

She was a member of Walbrook Methodist Church, Howard Park Methodist Church and the Mount Vernon Place Methodist Church.

Her husband, Wheeler K. Hancock, died in 1967.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. today in the Guild Memorial Chapel of Asbury Home, Gaithersburg.

Survivors include her sons, Frank E. Hancock of Madison, Ala., Earl C. Hancock of Boulder, Colo., V. Ray Hancock of Emory, Va., and Carl W. Hancock of Woodbine; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Contributions may be made to Asbury Home or a favorite charity.

David Clark Clagett, 77, Army colonel

David Clark Clagett, a retired Army colonel and decorated veteran of World War II, died Wednesday of emphysema at his Columbia home. He was 77.

During World War II, he commanded a rifle company of the 75th Infantry Division and was wounded in the Ardennes. He was born and raised in Washington, and graduated from the Military Academy in 1942.

He served in the military until 1969 with assignments in the United States, Germany, Vietnam and Brazil.

His military career included instructor positions on the faculty of the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga., and the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., When he retired in the early 1970s, he was professor of military science at the University of Pittsburgh.

His military decorations included the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Legion of Merit with cluster, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart with cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with two clusters and the Brazilian Order of the Duque de Caxias.

After his military retirement, Mr. Clagett became executive director of the University Science Center, a Pittsburgh-based research and consulting firm.

He moved in 1970 to Columbia, where he worked as a county contract administrator and later as assistant director of civil defense. He was president of the Maryland Civil Defense and Disaster Preparedness Association and chapter president of the Retired Officers Association.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 3:45 p.m. today at the Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer, Va.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Edith Hostetter Groff; three daughters, Carol Ann Krom of Pittsburgh, Susan Corcoran of Springfield, Va., and Mary Ellen Clagett of Columbia; a son, Col. David C. Clagett Jr. of Heidelberg, Germany; three brothers, Charles Thomas of Sun City, Fla., and F. Marbury and George G. Clagett, both of Upper Marlboro; as well as five grandchildren.

Margaret Walsh Ledden, 85, assistant to credit manager

Margaret Walsh Ledden, a Govans and Towson homemaker, died Thursday of leukemia at her home in the Edenwald Retirement Community. She was 85.

Mrs. Ledden, who lived in Govans and later Towson since 1945, was born and raised in West Baltimore and graduated from St. Martin's Academy in the late 1920s.

After graduation, she worked for five years as an assistant to the credit manager at O'Neill's Department Store in Baltimore.

She was a parishioner for more than 45 years at St. Mary's Govans and Immaculate Conception in Towson. She was a longtime volunteer for St. Mary's Govans School and parish.

Mrs. Ledden is survived by her husband of 61 years, J. Henry Ledden; three daughters, Sister Iris Anne Ledden, SSND, of Lexington, Ky., Bernadette Ledden White of Towson and Jeanne Ledden Simkins of Hunt Valley; a sister, Eleanor E. Walsh of Baltimore and three grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at the Immaculate Conception Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues, Towson.

The family has suggested memorial contributions to the Hospice of Baltimore, 6701 N. Charles St., Towson 21204.

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