Zelma W. Townsend, 81, teacher in city schools
Zelma W. Townsend, a longtime substitute teacher in Baltimore schools, died July 23 of heart failure at her home in Northeast Baltimore. She was 81.
Born Zelma Wainwright, she returned to high school in about 1950 after having left at age 17 to marry Edward James Townsend. She graduated as valedictorian from Dunbar Evening School in 1954. Mr. Townsend died in 1966.
After graduating from high school, Mrs. Townsend took classes at Morgan State College but did not complete a degree. She then began work as an insurance agent at Southern Life Insurance Co. on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Mrs. Townsend worked there about 10 years, and then served in Baltimore schools as a volunteer substitute teacher in the 1960s. Mrs. Townsend eventually was hired as a substitute and taught at Dunbar Senior High School and Lombard Junior High School until about 1979, when she retired. She also volunteered as a minister at St. Philips Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baltimore, where she was a member for more than 70 years.
"She was a very outspoken person; she was a very truthful person. ... She had a beautiful smile," said Mrs. Townsend's daughter Lorraine Townsend of Baltimore.
Memorial services were held last week at Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter in Baltimore.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Townsend is survived by a son, Kenneth Townsend of Baltimore; another daughter, Gloria Mae Watson of Baltimore; two sisters, Fannie Jones and Sylvia Wainwright, both of Baltimore; eight grandchildren; two great-grandsons, and two great-granddaughters.
Harry Patterson III, 86, utilities project designer
Harry F. Patterson III, who was active in Elkton community groups and Cecil County civic affairs, died Wednesday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. He was 86.
Mr. Patterson lived in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., and was receiving treatment at the Charlotte hospital for another illness when he suffered heart failure because of an unexpected infection.
Mr. Patterson, who grew up outside Philadelphia, worked for 35 years designing electrical construction projects for Conowingo Power Co. in Elkton before retiring in 1977. He had also served as president of the Elkton Kiwanis Club, chairman of the Cecil County Welfare Board and the Cecil County Red Cross, leader of Boy Scout Troop 136 and Cecil District commissioner to the Delmarva Council of the Boy Scouts.
A memorial service will be held at a future date.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Patterson, of New Smyrna Beach; two sons, John Patterson of Butler, and Robert Patterson of Charlotte, N.C.; a daughter, Elizabeth Patterson of Dover, Del.; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
John E. Bowersox, 89, contractor, distributor
John E. Bowersox, a retired contractor and flooring distributor, died Wednesday of complications of a stroke at Stella Maris Hospice. He was 89 and lived in Forest Hill.
In the 1940s, he founded Boule- vard Distributors, a building-supply company and flooring distributor. He also founded Waverly Floor and Wall Covering Co. in the 3400 block of Greenmount Ave. He retired in 1977.
Mr. Bowersox moved to Baltimore in 1934 as a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad employee.
Born in Blairs Mill, Pa., a small town near Carlisle, Pa., he attended public schools there and later attended the Westinghouse Institute, a division of the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Bowersox served in the Army Medical Corps in the 1940s.
Services were held yesterday Friday in Forest Hill.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, the former Florence Thompson; a son, Jack Bowersox of Jarrettsville; a brother, Ernest Bowersox of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.
Theresa Marie Richeson, 65, city parks, housing worker
Theresa Marie Richeson of Mount Washington, who worked for decades with Baltimore's parks and housing departments, died Thursday at Sinai Hospital. She was 65 and suffered from lung disease.
Ms. Richeson was born in Amherst, Va., and attended local public schools. She earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Morgan State University and a master's degree in clinical social work from Howard University. She had completed the requirements for a doctorate and had begun preparing for her dissertation.
In 1955 she joined Baltimore's Department of Parks and Recreation. She spent 16 years there and rose to become director of the Westport Recreation Center.
Ms. Richeson joined the Housing Authority of Baltimore City in 1971 and became associate deputy director. She retired this month.
She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Donald Millard of Mount Washington; a daughter, Wanda Lynne Walker of Bowie; her father, Moses Richeson of Baltimore; three brothers, David Richeson of Goldsboro, N.C., Harvey Richeson of Baltimore and H. Leonard Richeson of Silver Spring; and one granddaughter. A funeral service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the First Apostolic Faith Church of Jesus Christ at 27 S. Caroline St., Baltimore.