Bertha A. Elton dies at age 100

Bertha A. Elton, a retired church organist and Maryland National Bank trust officer, died Sept. 10 in her sleep at the Charlestown retirement community. She was 100.

Bertha Adella Fisher, the daughter of a cabinetmaker and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Brooklyn. She attended city schools.

Mrs. Elton, who had taken organ lessons and was a member of what was then Immanuel Evangelical United Brethren Church in Brooklyn, became the church's organist and choir director in 1926, positions she held for the next 30 years.

In 1929, she married Wilbur John Benjamin Ray, a lead burner at Davison Chemical Co. in Curtis Bay. In 1956, the couple moved to Severna Park. He died in 1973.

From 1953 until retiring in 1973, Mrs. Elton worked as a trust officer for Maryland National Bank at its Light Street headquarters.

An avid gardener, Mrs. Elton was known for her pansies, azaleas and flower arrangements.

She was a member and Worthy Matron of the Brooklyn chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. At her church, she founded the Super Dupers, a group of senior citizens that reached more than 100 members. For years, she arranged activities and bus trips for the group.

She was married in 1978 to C. Wilton Elton, a shipbuilder who died in 1994.

Since 1988, Mrs. Elton had lived at the Charlestown retirement community in Catonsville.

Mrs. Elton enjoyed traveling by ship and had made several voyages aboard Cunard's Queen Elizabeth II.

Family members said she didn't ascribe her longevity to any particular regimen.

"She regularly played bridge until she was 99, and liked going once a week to Snyder's Willow Grove Restaurant to eat a crab cake and enjoy a whiskey sour," said a daughter, Maureen DiLaura of Centreville.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown, 719 Maiden Choice Lane.

Also surviving are another daughter, Beverly Johnson of Greensboro, N.C., four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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