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W. Frank Hanson, 76, made bay gunning...


W. Frank Hanson, 76, made bay gunning boxes

W. Frank Hanson, a retired insurance executive who made hand-crafted Chesapeake Bay gunning boxes, died Sunday on his 76th birthday at his home in Churchville.

He retired in 1992 as a vice president of the Wilson-Oliver Insurance Agency Inc. in Aberdeen, where he had worked for 46 years. After he retired, he worked part time for the agency.

A woodworking enthusiast, he made gunning boxes in a workshop in his basement.

The boxes -- 2 feet long and 18 inches deep -- are used to store a hunter's ammunition, duck and goose calls and thermos bottle in four compartments. Fitted with rope handles, they fit in the bottom of a sink box, a small boat used for duck and goose hunting.

"They were kind of rare around the bay and were really only used in New England," said Todd Holden, a longtime friend.

"They could be used as a seat and were made of white pine or poplar. Frank's were all hand-made, every stitch. They were really prized possessions. Every year he donated one to the Harford County chapter of Ducks Unlimited, which they would auction off," Mr. Holden said.

Born and raised in Creswell in Harford County, Mr. Hanson was a 1937 graduate of Bel Air High School and attended Strayer's Business College.

During World War II, he served with the Army in the Pacific and was discharged in 1946. He then served in the Maryland National Guard and was discharged with the rank of major in 1965.

He was a member of the Bernard L. Tobin American Legion Post No. 128 in Aberdeen.

He was a photographer, hunter, fisherman and trap shooter and zTC a member of the Cedar Gun Club and the Highland Society of Harford County.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity, 2929 Level Road in Churchville, where he was a communicant and vestryman for more than 40 years.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Emily Perry Mitchell; two sons, David M. Hanson of Bel Air and Robert E. Hanson of Aberdeen; and three grandchildren.

James A. Russell, 75, accounting firm partner

James A. Russell, a retired partner in the accounting firm of Ernst and Young, died Sunday at a hospital in Concord, N.C., after a heart attack. He was 75 and lived in his native Denton.

Mr. Russell, who also had a home in Punta Gorda, Fla., was visiting a daughter in North Carolina at the time of his death.

The certified public accountant retired in 1978 after working in Ernst and Young's New York office since 1952. He started working for the firm in Baltimore in 1940.

He served in the Army in Germany during World War II and was a graduate of the Baltimore College of Commerce.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Moore Funeral Home in Denton.

He is survived by his wife, the former Hettie Davis; a son, James D. Russell of Virginia Beach, Va.; three daughters, Carol Russell of Kensington, Mary Russell Hill of Bronxville, N.Y., and Katherine Russell Prosser of Harrisburg, N.C.; two sisters, Caroline Cox of Severna Park and Nan Whittington of Portland, Ore.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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