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Morningside-Skyline column for Oct. 4

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Mary McHale

Published on: Wednesday, October 03, 2012

By Mary McHale

Morningside Chief of Police sworn in

Jeffrey S. Gray was sworn in as Morningside Chief of Police by Mayor Karen Rooker at the Town Meeting on Sept. 18. 

Chief Gray comes to the local police department after 27 years with the Prince George’s County Police Department, where he served as patrol officer, detective and investigative supervisor. After retiring from the County Police, he spent eight years as senior investigator for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office and last year as special assistant to the chief of the New Carrollton Police Department. For the past 15 years, he has headed a consulting company, J. Stewart Gray and Associates, and teaches classes in law enforcement and private security.

Design a Suitland mural?

Qualifying artists will have a chance to win a $1,000 grand prize and the opportunity to design and lead the creation of a new mural for the Suitland Shopping Center, at the corner of Silver Hill Road and Suitland Road.

Prince George’s County Art in Public Places program is partnering with CBS Radio/WPGC 95.5 FM for the “Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative Mural Contest.” The contest is open to residents of metropolitan Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Click here to enter this contest

Changing landscape

I often travel with Greyhound, and just did so in August when I bussed to Saginaw, Mich., for a visit with my brother and sisters. So, I am surprised to learn Greyhound has moved from First Street NE to Union Station. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and other officials cut the ribbon on the bus company’s new terminal Sept. 25.

The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor has a new owner, as of Oct. 1 — Marriott International of Bethesda. 

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III will deliver opening remarks at 10 a.m. Friday for groundbreaking of the new District VII Police Station, 11108 Fort Washington Road in Fort Washington.

Crab feast, open house coming up

Morningside Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its open house from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, with free hotdogs, hamburgers, drinks, moonbounce, fire-prevention and firefighter material, and smoke detector awareness.  Bells United Methodist Church, located at 6016 Allentown Road in Camp Springs, is holding a crab feast at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. There will be something for everyone — crabs, chicken, pulled-pork, hotdogs, hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob, string beans, potato salad, baked beans, sweet tea and lemonade. Advance sale only. Tickets cost $40 for the grand feast, $30 for the crab feast or $20 for the family feast. For tickets, call Pastor Cogman at 301-437-1685; Claire Kennedy at 301-868-4154; Brittany Ford at 240-640-7852, or Courtenaye Nelson at 202-582-7909.  

Air Force, Amtrak retiree dies

William Everett “Bill” Keck, 81, twice retired, from the Air Force and from Amtrak, died Sept. 12. He had lived in Skyline since 1969. 

A native of Graham, N.C., he graduated from Graham High School and attended North Carolina Central University in Durham. In 1954, he married his childhood sweetheart, Flossie Covington.

In 1951, Bill joined the Air Force, which took him (and sometimes his family) around the world to Florida, Texas, Greenland, Italy, Panama Canal Zone, Thailand, New York, and both Bolling and Andrews bases. He retired after 22 years of service and then worked for Amtrak from 1973 to 1993. 

He was a member and former officer in the Skyline Citizens Association, Warren Lodge #8 and the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. He enjoyed bowling, fishing (and bragging) and loved to travel.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Flossie; son Randy Keck; daughters Rhonda Malloy and Rev. Renée Keck; and four grandchildren. Homegoing Celebration was at Hunter Memorial AME Church in Suitland, where Bill served on the Trustee and Usher Boards for more than 20 years. Burial was at Lincoln Cemetery in Suitland followed by repast at Hunter Memorial.

Mount Calvary librarian dies at 88

Phyllis Anne Denit, Mount Calvary Catholic School librarian for many years, died Sept. 19, six days before her 89th birthday. She was a longtime resident of District Heights but in recent years lived in Mitchellville. A native of England, she never really lost her accent.

I enjoyed serving with this remarkable woman when we were both school librarians and members and officers of the elementary school division of the Catholic Library Association. Phyllis was a terrific person to discuss a book with!

She was the wife of the late John B. Denit; mother of Paul G. and Lyle R. Denit; mother-in-law of Julie K. Nelson; and grandmother of JohnLucas N. Denit. She is buried at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery.


Happy birthday to Sue Gilmore and Muriel Ireson, Oct. 5; Carmen Buffington and George Nixon, Oct. 6; Dr. Alvin Thornton and Kam’Ron Blade, Oct. 7; Greta Chambers, Oct. 9; Marvin Burkhart, Oct. 10; and Mary Deans, Oct. 11.

Happy 23rd anniversary to my daughter Elaine and Luke Seidman on Oct. 7.

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