Cora Hatcherson, 94, hospital clerk, poker fan

Cora Hatcherson, a homemaker and former hospital clerk who was an avid poker player, died in her sleep Saturday at Millennium Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ellicott City. She was 94.

Born Cora Parnel Ludwig in Baltimore, she attended Western High School with ambitions of becoming a gym teacher. But at age 15 she left school and eloped with George Willson Hatcherson, whom she had known since she was 3. They had been married for 66 years when her husband, a retired railroad machinist, died in 1990.


The Hatchersons scraped through the Depression, she taking bets for a bookie uncle and he bootlegging beer, said her granddaughter Joyce Heid.

Mrs. Hatcherson subsequently became a homemaker, and kept her door open to many family members who traveled the country serving in the military. She joked that she never knew whom she would find on her couch in the morning during those years, her granddaughter said.


In 1948, she founded a club of eight Baltimore women who met twice a week to play poker. The women called themselves Maverick's Dolls and took regular trips to Las Vegas, New York and the Caribbean in their 50 years as an active club.

Mrs. Hatcherson moved to Wilkens Avenue, where she lived much of her life, in 1958. That year she took a job as a saleswoman at the Hecht Co. department store on Howard Street. She later worked about 10 years as a clerk at what is now St. Agnes HealthCare, retiring in the early 1980s.

Services were held yesterday.

Mrs. Hatcherson is survived by three sons, William Hatcherson and Robert Hatcherson, both of Ellicott City, and Thomas Hatcherson of Prince Frederick; 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.