Elizabeth C. Sherwood, 65, legislative assistant in House of Delegates


Elizabeth Catherine Sherwood, a House of Delegates legislative assistant who was known as a master of the malaprop, died Friday at North Arundel Hospital of injuries sustained after she was struck by a car while walking near her Severna Park home. She was 65.

Mrs. Sherwood, known as Betty, had worked in the House of Delegates for 10 years, and had been a legislative assistant to Del. Jacob J. Mohorovic Jr., a Democrat from Dundalk, since 1994.

Earlier, she had worked for several Annapolis yacht brokerages.

A woman who had an insatiable appetite for parties, people and entertaining, she was widely known in Annapolis and Severna Park, where she had lived for 35 years.

"She could follow four conversations at one time and keep her own going at the same time and be aware of what perfect strangers were talking about at the next table. She was fun to be around and created fun wherever she went," said her husband of 44 years, John Sherwood.

Like the character Mrs. Malaprop in 18th-century playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan's "The Rivals," Mrs. Sherwood was quick-witted and had a natural gift for creating malapropisms that kept family, friends and associates in stitches.

Stories chronicling her "Betty Bloopers" have been published in Smithsonian Magazine, Washington Star, Miami Herald and Annapolitan Magazine. A sampling:

Let's kill one bird with two stones.

[To a waiter: ] I'll have a glass of white water.

He stayed up all night to see the sunset.

The former Elizabeth Catherine Cronin was born and reared in the Brooklyn section of the city and was a 1952 graduate of Seton High School.

She enjoyed reading, gardening, traveling and sailing with her husband aboard their sloop, Erewhon.

She was a communicant of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 689 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, where a Memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. today.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Sherwood is survived by three sons, Eric Sherwood of Arnold, and Mark Sherwood and Scott Sherwood, both of Washington; a brother, James L. Cronin of Glen Burnie; and two sisters, Mary Loretta Puls of Ellicott City and Eleanor King of Towson.

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