Ruth P. Graef, 62, church choir directorRuth...


Ruth P. Graef, 62, church choir director

Ruth P. Graef, church choir director and former partner in a Towson needlepoint shop, died Tuesday of complications of a stroke at her home in Cedarcroft. She was 62.

In 1972, Mrs. Graef joined Divinity Lutheran Church Choir and two years later became director, a post she held until 1992. She sang from 1953 to 1960 with the Immanuel Lutheran Church Choir, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

In 1976, she and Kathleen Schuman established Spectrum Needlework at Washington and Ware avenues in Towson. The business was moved in 1983 and reopened on 39th Street in Baltimore, where it was closed in 1989.

Mrs. Graef worked a year as bookkeeper for the Towson Development Corp., which her husband, Leslie H. Graef, directed until he retired in 1993. From 1952 to 1979, he was Baltimore County planning director.

After moving to Baltimore from Boston in 1952, Mrs. Graef, who was known as Betty, worked as a secretary, first for county school Superintendent Dr. Guy Stapleton and then for a Towson attorney.

She collected cardboard and wooden Victorian houses and had several hundred displayed throughout her home.

A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. today at Divinity Lutheran Church, 1220 Providence Road, Towson.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Graef is survived by two sons, Thomas H. Graef of Towson and John Theodore Graef of Quakertown, Pa.; two brothers, Roland F. Plehn of Perry Hall and Herbert A. Plehn of San Antonio; and two sisters, Marianne Halvorson of Brunswick, Ohio, and Barbara Schaeffer of Raleigh, N.C.

Memorial donations may be made to the Divinity Lutheran Church choir program.

John W. Powers, a tractor-trailer driver for 24 years, died of cancer Monday at Union Memorial Hospital. He was 48.

Mr. Powers began his career with Anchor Motor Freight Co. and later worked for C. B. L. Trucking in Jessup and Less Simmons trucking company.

Known to fellow truckers by the Citizens Band radio handle "Short Stroke," Mr. Powers was a member of Baltimore Local 557 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Schimunek Funeral Home, 610 W. MacPhail Road in Bel Air.

Survivors include his wife of 23 years, the former Nancy L. Hutchinson of Abingdon; his parents, Grant and Blanche Powers of Baltimore; a daughter, Brenda A. Powers of Abingdon; two sons, Jason W. Powers of Abingdon and John Powers Jr. of Baltimore; two brothers, Allen Powers and Robert Powers, both of Baltimore; and two sisters, Sharon Arbuthnot of Baltimore and Janet Knepprath of Hilton Head, S.C.

Henry G. Schroen, 93, a retired transportation analyst and Baltimore native, died Feb. 16 of lung cancer at the American Lake Veteran Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash.

Services were to be held today in Tacoma, where the World War II Army veteran moved in 1977. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Katherine; and a daughter, Nancy Kay Hadley of Tacoma.

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