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Dr. Yasushi Togo, 79, physician, company officialDr....


Dr. Yasushi Togo, 79, physician, company official

Dr. Yasushi Togo, a physician and pharmaceutical company executive, died of pancreatic cancer Monday at University of Maryland Medical Center. He was 79.

Born in Sapporo, Japan, Dr. Togo was a medical student at Imperial Tokyo University when he was drafted as a naval medic during World War II. In 1945, he tended the dying and wounded in Nagasaki in the atomic bomb aftermath.

After the war, he continued his studies at the Okinaka medical department at Tokyo University Hospital. In 1956, he was recruited to what was then University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore, where he conducted research into infectious diseases.

In 1958, he married Kazuko "Kay" Ninomiya of Tokyo. The couple lived in Ruxton while raising their son, James, now of Hockessin, Del.

After he retired from University Hospital in 1978, Dr. Togo returned to Japan and embarked on a career in pharmaceuticals. He was executive director of research and development at Nippon Merck Banyu and vice president of Roussel Pharmaceuticals.

He and his wife returned to Baltimore in 1990.

He enjoyed collecting oyster plates, reading history and gardening.

Dr. Togo was cremated. Friends may call at the family home from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Besides his wife and son, Dr. Togo is survived by five grandchildren.

Virginia A. Miller, 77, housekeeper at hospital

Virginia A. Miller, who worked in housekeeping at Johns Hopkins Hospital and worked in an airplane factory during World War II, died April 6 of cancer at her Gardenville home. She was 77.

Virginia A. Turner was born in Remington and attended city public schools. She raised her nine siblings rather than have them go into foster care after her mother died in 1950, said family members.

A "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II, Mrs. Miller helped build bombers and fighter planes at the Glenn L. Martin Co. plant in Middle River.

After the war, she was an assembly line worker at American Can Co. in Canton before joining the housekeeping staff of Hopkins. She retired in 1988.

Her marriage to Paul Reeves, ended in divorce. In 1953, she married Garland Staples, who was killed in an automobile accident.

She was a member of Kingsway Christian Church and Central Christian Church.

Services were held Monday.

She is survived by her husband of 22 years, Ralph Miller; a son, Allen Wayne Miller of Port Deposit; two daughters, Elizabeth Orem of Hampden and Lorraine Barksdale of Havre de Grace; five brothers, Walter Turner of Waverly, Edward Turner and Leonard Turner, both of Hampden, Arnold Turner of Remington and Albert Turner of Eastpoint; a sister, Dorothy Baker of Carroll County; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Margaret Schmelz, 96, honored volunteer

Margaret Schmelz, who was recognized by Catholic University of America for her voluntarism, died Monday of heart failure at Stella Maris Hospice. She was 96.

A former Pikesville resident who had lived at the hospice since 1985, she was awarded the James Cardinal Gibbons Medal by Catholic University in 1973.

The award, named for a former archbishop of Baltimore who was the university's first chancellor, is given by the alumni association for service to the nation, the Roman Catholic Church or the university.

Mrs. Schmelz had volunteered for many years at Seton Psychiatric Institute, St. Vincent's Infant Home, Mercy Hospital, Mercy Villa and Mount St. Agnes College.

She was described by a daughter, Sister Mary Judith, R.S.M., as a "great-hearted woman. For 40 years, the unwed mothers in residential care with Catholic Charities had a special friend in Marge."

Margaret Samstag was born in Baltimore and lived in the Panama Canal Zone while her stepfather worked on the construction of the canal. She later returned to Baltimore and attended Eastern High School.

In 1923, she married Frederick W. Schmelz, who died in 1980.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today in the chapel at Stella Maris Hospice, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road, Timonium.

Mrs. Schmelz is survived by another daughter, Marie Elizabeth Tobin of Rockville; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Sasa Aleksic, 30, doctor, studied nuclear medicine

Dr. Sasa Aleksic, a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital, died April 7 of injuries he suffered in a traffic accident that day in Charles Village, where he lived. He was 30.

Born and raised in Negotin, Yugoslavia, Dr. Aleksic studied at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, where he was class valedictorian in 1996.

Recruited by the radiology department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1998, Dr. Aleksic had a field of concentration in nuclear medicine. He was involved in brain research and planned a residency in psychiatry, colleagues said.

A funeral service was held Sunday. Dr. Aleksic's body was returned to Yugoslavia, and a Serbian Orthodox funeral will be held for him today in Belgrade.

He is survived by his parents, Dr. Ilija and Darinka Aleksic of Negotin; a sister, Ruzica Besir of Belgrade; two nephews; and a niece.

Loraine G. Thompson, 91, active in community, politics

Loraine Garrett Thompson, who was active in civic and church affairs, died of natural causes at her Patapsco home in Anne Arundel County on Saturday. She was 91.

Loraine Etta Harris was born in Elizabeth City, N.C., where she was raised and schooled. She came to Baltimore to live with an aunt as a young woman and married James F. Garrett in 1929. He died in 1958.

Her second husband, Samuel Thompson, died in the early 1980s.

Her community and political work included presiding over the Women's Progressive League for nine years. She was proud of being the first black board president of North Arundel Hospital.

For 71 years, Mrs. Thompson -- nicknamed "Marane" -- was a member of Leadenhall Baptist Church in southern Baltimore, where services were held yesterday. She was head of the Deaconess Board and sang in the choir.

Survivors include a stepdaughter, Gwendolyn Bruce of Baltimore; two nieces; and a nephew.

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