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Morningside-Skyline column for Jan. 10

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Mary McHale

Published on: Wednesday, January 09, 2013

By Mary McHale

Garner family celebrates Christmas baby

On Christmas Day, shortly after 1 a.m., a baby girl was born into the Garner family, a grandchild Harry Garner Jr. had been looking forward to with great anticipation. Sadly, he died Nov. 21 in Little River, S.C. 

Harry was the son of Harry Sr., and Ruth Garner, founding residents of Morningside, and part of a large contingent of relatives who made their home in Morningside. He married Nancy Justice, and they lived in Waldorf before moving to South Carolina.

They became parents of three sons and daughter Kelly, the only daughter born in their family — until Dec. 25, when Baby Emma arrived, weighing just over eight pounds.

Emma is the daughter of Tom and Kelly Eno and the 12th grandchild of Harry and Nancy Garner. She is a wonderful Christmas gift for the entire Garner family.

Apologies and corrections

I’m writing this column on Dec. 30, and feel obliged — before the New Year arrives — to correct some of what I’ve written over the past few weeks. I want to start 2013 with a clean slate.

The most egregious item I ran was a note about the death of my neighbor Lucy Brewer. Well, she didn’t die. One person called to say she’d called Lucy’s home, and Lucy answered the phone. Another reported that Lucy had sent her a Christmas card. I don’t know where I got the bad information, and I apologize. Glad you’re still with us, Lucy!

I ran an obit for Emma Witczak, longtime Morningsider, who died Oct. 23. I listed two surviving daughters, but there were three: Mary Lou Entwisle, Helen Kay Emanuel and Martha Ann Mencer. I also listed Jeff D. Needham as her son; he is actually a grandson who was mostly raised by Emma. Sorry, Emma.

In last week’s column I misspelled the name of Serena Holmes (I had “Selena”), the Suitland High student who won first place by inventing Stanley, a life-size octopus, for a contest using recycled materials to create artistic sculptures.

Thank you to those who call or email when I make a mistake. I hope you will continue to try and keep me honest.

Morningside memories

On Jan. 23, 1945, a group of Morningsiders met to organize the Ladies Auxiliary to the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department. The Auxiliary started with 18 charter members, but by 1963 — 50 years ago — the membership numbered 50 and Edythe Neale was president. Other officers were Audrey Holmes, vice president; Helen Ditmars, treasurer; Jeanne West, recording secretary; Beverley Phillips, corresponding secretary; Joyce Alley, membership chairman; and Jean Davis, canteen chairman.

May they rest in peace

Mary Ryan Gaither, 90, known for her great wedding and dozen-roses cakes, died Dec. 18. She was a longtime resident of Auth Village and a founding member of St. Philip’s Parish, where she had served on the Parish Hall Committee. She was the widow of the late Robert F. Gaither Sr., mother of Sheila Vaughan, Robert Gaither Jr., Mary Ellen Bayne and the late Edward M. Gaither; sister of Catherine Rourke, Robert Connor, the late Edward Ryan, Paul Ryan and Albert Connor; grandmother of five and great-grandmother of four. Mass of Christian Burial was at St. Philip’s with burial at Resurrection Cemetery. 

Anna R. Coley, 80, a Suitland activist for 30 years before moving to Florida in 1998, died Dec. 22 in Washington.  Her husband of 58 years, Walter Coley, died exactly two months ago, on Oct. 22. The couple was active in community recreation activities and is pictured in a large montage above the gymnasium door at the Suitland Community Center. Survivors include daughters Pamela Coley, of Suitland, and Sandra Keaton, of Ellicott City, and son Walter Jr., of Clinton, three grandchildren, a brother and five sisters. Services were at Pope Funeral Home in Forestville.  

Phillip K. Buler, a member of the Fort Myer and Silver Hill fire departments, died in his sleep early the morning of Nov. 22 while on an annual hunting trip with friends in West Virginia.


Happy birthday to Jennifer Jung, proprietor of GI Liquors, J.B. Thomas and Christa Neale, Jan. 4; Ariel Thomas, Sarah Vilky and Terry Foster, Jan. 6; Stephen Sarandos, Jan. 7; Eva Hugings and Charles Boxley, Jan. 8.

Happy anniversary to my son John and Michelle McHale, their 13th on Jan. 4; Diane and Steve Zirkle, Jan. 9; and David and Lori Williams, Jan. 9.

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