Helen B. Vail, 89, church volunteerHelen B....

Helen B. Vail, 89, church volunteer

Helen B. Vail, a longtime Baltimore resident and church volunteer, died Thursday at Fairways of Brookline retirement community in State College, Pa., at age 89. She had been failing after suffering three strokes, her family said.


Before moving to State College, Mrs. Vail lived in Gambrills for 20 years. Her husband, James A. Vail, died in 1963.

Born Helen Blakeney, she grew up in Baltimore and was a 1926 graduate of Western High School. She had been an active member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Crownsville, to which the family suggested memorial donations be made.


Services will be at 2 p.m. todayat Eloise B. Kyper Funeral Home in State College.

Survivors include two daughters, Louise V. Hess of State College and Barbara V. Bauer of Gaithersburg; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A son, James A. Vail, died in 1983.

Elizabeth S. Hardy, 90, longtime civic volunteer

Elizabeth S. Hardy, a longtime civic volunteer, died of heart failure Saturday in her residence at Roland Park Place in Baltimore. She was 90.

Mrs. Hardy was volunteer over the years in the Junior League, Community Chest, United Way and Bryn Mawr School, of which she was a graduate. She served on the board of the Keswick Home for more than 30 years.

Born Elizabeth Scarlett, she grew up in Guilford and, in 1929, graduated from Vassar College. She was married to Dr. George E. Hardy Jr., a dentist, who died in 1980. The couple lived in Roland Park. Mrs. Hardy moved to Roland Park Place in the early 1980s.

Services will be at 10: 30 a.m. tomorrow at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St.

Survivors include two sons, George E. Hardy III of Baltimore and William G. S. Hardy of Wilmington, Del.; a daughter, Elizabeth H. Spence of McLean, Va.; and seven grandchildren.


Helen Neumann-Koehlein, 77, electrical engineer

Helen Neumann-Koehlein, a retired NASA electrical engineer who was a founder of Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church, died of a stroke Tuesday at Laurel Regional Hospital. She was 77 and lived in Ellicott City.

She began her aerospace career in the early 1950s at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River, where she helped design booster rockets for the Mercury and Gemini space programs.

In 1967, she went to work at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, designing control systems for unmanned spacecraft including the Nimbus and Earth Resources satellites. She retired in 1987.

She and the Rev. Christian Neumann were married in 1955. With about 100 others, they formed Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church in Columbia Hills. Mr. Neumann died in 1969.

Through the years, she taught Sunday school, was the church's organist and choir director and occasionally was preached a sermon. She was the congregation's first woman president.


In 1986, she married the Rev. C. Edgar Koehlein, who also was a pastor of Epiphany. He died this year.

She was a member and former president of the Woman's League of Gettysburg College.

She was born Helen May Hilmer in Essex and was a 1937 graduate of Kenwood High School. She earned a bachelor's degree from Goucher College in 1941 and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Ithaca College in 1944.

She taught briefly at Girls Latin School and the Talmudical Academy in Baltimore.

Services were Friday.

Surviving are a son, William Hilmer Neumann of Columbia; two stepsons, John Koehlein of Westminster and Paul Koehlein of Perry Hall; and two stepdaughters, Barbara Sedlak of Bel Air and Susan Moore of York County, Pa.


Joel M. Cooke Sr., 79, appliance repairman

Joel M. Cooke Sr., a retired appliance repairman who escaped from the Japanese during the Bataan Death March, died of heart failure June 1 at William Hill Nursing Home in Chestertown. Services for the 79-year-old Cambridge resident were held June 5.

Mr. Cooke retired in 1980 after 32 years as a maintenance worker for Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Drafted into the Army in March 1941, Mr. Cooke was assigned to an ordnance company when the Japanese captured the Philippines in 1942. The American and Philippine forces were forced to make the Bataan Death March, which claimed nearly 10,000 lives.

During the march, he escaped into the jungle with five other men. They were hidden by Filipinos, who helped them reach Corregidor. When American and Philippine forces were defeated there, he was captured again. Relatives did not know when he was freed. Sur He was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor.

His wife of 42 years, the former Ida Klump, died in 1988.


He is survived by two sons, Joel Cooke Jr. of New Hampshire and Allan Cooke of Cambridge; a brother, Louis Barnes of Hurlock; and a sister, Marie Newcomb of Cambridge.

Pub Date: 6/23/97