Olan P. Phelps Jr., 68, Old Tyme...


Olan P. Phelps Jr., 68, Old Tyme Liquors owner

Olan P. Phelps Jr., former proprietor of Old Tyme Liquors in Glenelg, died Monday of heart failure at his home in Ellicott City. He was 68.

Born in Baltimore and reared on the family's Linthicum Farm in Glenelg, Mr. Phelps graduated from Clarksville High School and entered the Marine Corps in 1951, serving as a corporal in Japan during the Korean War.

After his honorable discharge in 1954, he took over his father's liquor store. A great-uncle founded the business in the 1890s as Phelps General Store, at Ten Oaks and Tridelphia roads, and the landmark was rebuilt after a fire in 1900.

In the early 1980s, Mr. Phelps sold the business, supposedly to retire, but he was soon working as a loan officer for Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Co. in Baltimore. He retired again but once again returned to work, this time in the parts department at Acura West in Ellicott City. Mr. Phelps retired a third time in the early 1990s but found himself back at work in the family business, in partnership with its new owners.

Mr. Phelps was married for 46 years to the former Dorothy L. Grimes, who died in 1998. He is survived by two sons, Olan P. Phelps III of Thurmont and William Gary Phelps of Fort Morgan, Colo.; two daughters, Laura Anne Phelps of Severn and Donna R. Stout of Kill Devil Hills, N.C.; two sisters, Eleanor Wilson of Woodbine and Louise Easton of Clarksville; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Services were Thursday at Witzke Funeral Home, Ellicott City. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Howard County, 5537 Twin Knolls Road, Suite 433, Columbia 21045 or to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7472 at 4225 VFW Lane, Ellicott City 21043.

Ernest Andrew Berger, 84, certified public accountant

Ernest Andrew Berger, a certified public accountant who worked for the Smithsonian Institution, died Dec. 3 of cancer at Oak Crest Village in Parkville, where he had resided for the past three years. He was 84 and had lived previously in Wiltondale and Annapolis.

A Baltimore native, Mr. Berger graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1935 and received a degree in accounting in 1949 from the Baltimore College of Commerce, now part of the University of Maryland.

Before joining the Smithsonian Institution in the mid-1960s, Mr. Berger had worked as an assistant controller for the University of Maryland's professional schools in Baltimore. He had also worked for Maryland Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Union Memorial Hospital and Goddard Space Flight Center. He was the fiscal officer and assistant treasurer at the Smithsonian when he retired in 1979.

Mr. Berger was a parishioner of Ascension Lutheran Church in Towson. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Louise Krespach Berger; a daughter, Beverly B. Hannon; a son, Ernest A. Berger Jr.; and four grandchildren, all of the Annapolis area.

Burial at Druid Ridge Cemetery will be private, and a private memorial service will be held later. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Gerald I. Butanis, 74, county fire battalion chief

Gerald Ignatius Butanis, a retired Baltimore County Fire Department battalion chief, died Monday of cancer at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. He was 74 and lived in Bel Air.

Mr. Butanis served in the Fire Department for 36 years, retiring in 1986 as battalion chief for Area 6, on the east side of Baltimore County. He was a member of the American Legion in Bel Air.

A native of Maine, Mr. Butanis was serving in the Navy during World War II when he met his first wife, Eileen Caples of Baltimore, whom he married in 1949. She died in 1979.

He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Bessie Mallis Butanis; five sons, Barry A. Butanis of New Freedom, Pa., David R. Butanis of Carney, Gerald I. Butanis Jr. of Fallston, Victor K. Butanis of Baldwin and Lewis J. Faraclas of Houston; two daughters, Irene F. McKenny of Millersville and Eugenia B. Hawley of Bel Air; a brother, Richard T. Butanis of Baltimore; and 18 grandchildren.

Services were Thursday at Schimunek Funeral Home in Bel Air, with burial at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. Contributions may be made to Johns Hopkins Bayview Regional Burn Center, 4940 Eastern Ave., Baltimore 21224 or to the Ronald McDonald House.

Jesse Boblits, 67, Baltimore firefighter

Jesse Boblits, a retired lieutenant with the Baltimore Fire Department, died Monday of lung cancer at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. He was 67 and lived in Abingdon.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Boblits served 34 years as a firefighter, including work in fire investigation and prevention, before retiring in 1994. He then worked three years for Automatic Data Processing in Towson, delivering payroll checks.

He enjoyed vacationing in Ocean City, making home improvements, and spending time with his schnauzer, Muffin.

Mr. Boblits was married for 37 years to the former Patricia Leutner, who died in 1995.

Survivors include two sons, Keith Boblits of Perry Hall and Craig Boblits of Edmond, W.Va.; a sister, Betty Schmidt of Middle River; and a brother, Ira Boblits of Essex.

Services were held Friday at Schimunek Funeral Home in Bel Air, with burial at Highview Memorial Gardens near Fallston.


Lord Aldington, 86, a politician who won one of Britain's most famous libel cases against a man who labeled him a war criminal, died Thursday of cancer in Kent, southern England.

In 1989, Lord Aldington was awarded $2.2 million in damages after winning a libel suit against historian Count Nikolai Tolstoy. Tolstoy, a distant relative of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, had written a pamphlet accusing Aldington of war crimes.

It remains the largest sum ever awarded in a defamation case in Britain.

Cornelius L. Henderson, the first black bishop to serve on the United Methodist Churches' Florida Conference, died in Lakeland, Fla., on Thursday of cancer.

Tom Darcy, who won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning while working for Newsday, died Wednesday of emphysema in New York. He was 67.

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