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Morningside-Skyline column for Aug. 1

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Mary McHale

Published on: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

By Mary McHale

Former Morningsider, Agnes Koch, celebrates 100th birthday in Washington State

I received a remarkable letter from a remarkable woman. Agnes Koch read a book about the life of Eleanor Roosevelt, which included a list of important events during her lifetime. Agnes, who is turning 100 on Aug. 26, decided to make a similar list.

She filled two pages with events as small as the invention of the crossword puzzle (1913) and as big as the fall of the Berlin Wall (1990).

She also included her important dates: born to Carl and Lina Johnson in Houston, Minn. (1913), graduation from Houston High School (1932), marriage to Logan Koch (1940), birth of her daughter Julie Ann (1948), birth of her son Robert Bruce (1951), and the births of her grandchildren — Leah, Logan and Lane — and her great-grandchildren, Juniper and Maple.

Agnes and Logan lived on Maple Road and, later on, Boxwood Drive in Morningside. She volunteered at Morningside School where she served on the Ways and Means Committee, Morningside Baptist Church and District Heights Homemakers. The Koch family moved to Fort Drive in Suitland and Agnes served on the Ways and Means Committee at Suitland Elementary.

Later, they moved to Florida and, in time, Logan passed away. Several years ago, she moved to Bothell, Wash., near her daughter. But the remarkable thing about Agnes is that she has kept all those friends from Morningside, Suitland, the elementary schools, the Baptist Church and Homemakers. Once each fall, for years, she has come to Washington to see her son and to lunch with these friends. We’ve met with her at Applebee’s, Topolino’s and the Old Country Buffet. I’ve been lucky to be one of those friends.

Now she’s 100. Julie writes, “Even with poor vision and poor hearing, Agnes is so happy to be here and to be able to enjoy every day, to hear from friends, take walks out in nature and read good books.”

Coming up

National Night Out activities will be held in Morningside and in Skyline and throughout the country on Tuesday, August 6. There will be food, fun and visiting police officers and county officials. Turn your porch light on and head over to Night Out.

Golfers will be teeing off at the Lake Presidential Golf Course at 8 a.m. Aug. 13 for the Forestville Pregnancy Center’s Third Annual Golf Tournament. If you’d like to spend the day with other Friends of Life, eat great food, have fun, and take a chance at winning some awesome prizes, including a car, call Frank Zak, at 301-627-8323, or go to and click on Golf Tournament 2013.

Hospital changes

Malcolm Grow Medical Clinic and Surgery Center officially broke ground May 22, near the current hospital at Joint Base Andrews. Once the new clinic is built, Malcolm Grow Hospital — which opened in 1958 as the 250-bed USAF Hospital Andrews — will be demolished.

Civista Medical Center in La Plata became the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center on July 1.

May they rest in peace

James Thomas Carbine Jr., died April 24 while on a cruise ship in the Red Sea. A week before the cruise, he had told his children, “If I die on this cruise, I will die a happy man.” He was 88. He grew up in Villanova, Pa., graduated from St. Joseph’s Prep School, West Point Military Academy and George Washington University. He was a colonel and pilot in the Air Force and then worked at Computer Science Corporation and Modern Technology Corporation. His wife of 52 years, Jean Conklin, and sons James III and Thomas preceded him in death. He is survived by daughters Cynthia Carbine and Gail Kavanagh, five grandchildren and three siblings. Mass of Christian Burial was at St. Philip’s.

Frank John Blackwell, 85, mayor of Seat Pleasant from 1980 to 1992 and a retired National Security Agency analyst, died June 28. During his term as mayor, the town’s police department was established. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nina Mae Nash Blackwell, two sons, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Happy birthday to Chris Webb and Samantha Wade, Aug. 3; Victoria Levanduski, Laura Cook and Sallee Bixler, Aug. 4; Miss Bailey Sparks, GeGe Feeney, Bernie Miller, my granddaughter Rose Seidman and Diane Ruby, Aug. 5; Markeyce Herring and Connie Kimbles, Aug. 6; Mary Leonard, Aug. 7; Maxmilian Howard, Ruth Sanford and William Billy Stewart, Aug. 8.

Happy 66th anniversary to William and Orva Heissenbuttel, on Aug 3; and to Denis and Donna Wood, on Aug. 7.

Special greetings to two couples on their diamond anniversary: Robert and Jewel Schweitzer, of Temple Hills, who were married 60 years ago on July 18, and C.E. “Mike” and Louise Fowler, of Forestville, who were wed 60 years ago on July 1.

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