We Remember Those We Have Lost

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Sandra Lois Cropper

OCEAN RIDGE, Fla. — Sandra Lois Cropper, 72, passed away Aug. 22, 2012, at Hospice by the Sea, Boca Raton, Fla., after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.

Sandy was born in Midland City, Ala., was the daughter of the late Bailey Snellgrove and Margaret Snellgrove.

She is survived by her loving husband Reese F. Cropper, Jr.; two sons, Lawrence Jeffery Nyce, of N. Potomac, Md., and Robert Todd Offenbacher and his wife Tara, of So. Lake Tahoe, Calif. There are two grandchildren, Lawrence Todd Nyce and Olive Dakota Offenbacher. Survivors also include a sister, Sue Adams, Eufaula, Ala.; a brother, Robert Snellgrove and his wife Dixie, Pensacola, Fla.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

In addition, there are two step granddaughters that Sandy considered her own, Taylor Clark and Jordan Clark. Also large part of Sandy’s life are two step daughters, Kimberly Clark Czajkowski and Amy L. Cropper.

Sandy was a member of the Dunes Club of Ocean City and a member of the board of directors for Meyers Siding Condo. Sandy was the co-founder, with her previous husband Karl, of Offenbacher Pool & Patio, a chain of outdoor furniture stores in the Washington, DC area. She will be fondly remembered as a loving and giving person to others. Her magnetic personality made her an instant friend to anyone she met. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her and loved her. We are all better to have had her in our lives.

Sandy requested her remains be cremated and appropriate services will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation in her memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn, 38105, her favorite charity, or Hospice by the Sea, Inc., 1531 W. Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton, Fla. 33486, which provided much comfort for Sandy.

Patricia Morris Peloquin

TAKOMA PARK — Patricia Morris Peloquin, 75, retired dental hygienist and homemaker, died Aug. 6, 2012 in Takoma Park, Md. peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her three daughters.

For years, she had carried a quote in her wallet stating that one should end life’s journey loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!!!", a sentiment seemingly at odds with her life as an organized, responsible, caring professional woman, mother, wife, and neighbor. The quote reminded her to enjoy life and have fun. She loved her family and friends, loved the Maryland shore and her garden, loved music, loved to dance, and frequently reminded her daughters to stop and smell the roses. She also said that, when she was young, single, and broke, the best way to have fun was to cook a chicken for her young, single, broke friends.

Born Patricia Irene Morris in Salisbury to Oscar Lee Morris Jr. (editor of the Salisbury Times) and the former Alyce Irene Martino, she earned money mowing lawns and doing yard work in her neighborhood. She studied tap and ballroom dance, and as a teenager sang and danced professionally in the Eastern Shore and in Baltimore, was head majorette and secretary of the math club at Wicomico High, taught dance in Salisbury, and entered beauty pageants. Though she hated sleeping in tents with bugs, she spent the summer of 1955 as a camp counselor at a Girl Scout camp. She slept on a picnic table. The girls called her Rusty, for her auburn hair, and once hung her, in her sleeping bag, upside down from a tree limb as a prank.

She earned her certificate in dental hygiene from the University of Pennsylvania in 1956, and in the same year was chosen Cherry Blossom Princess for the state of Maryland. She practiced dental hygiene in Salisbury, in the offices of her uncle Albert Morris. Later, she worked in Baltimore, then in the Washington, D.C. area. From 1962 through 1963, she was president of the Maryland Dental Hygienist Association. In 1963, she married Robert Alfred Peloquin, and retired from dental hygiene to raise her family. She always felt it was important that someone be home when the children came home from school, and that the family dine together nightly at 6PM, with very few exceptions. Because her own mother passed away shortly before her wedding, she was especially appreciative of her mother-in-law, Gilbertha Peloquin.

Peloquin was a founder of and wrote the newsletter for a neighborhood association in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and helped organize a yearly "Spring Fling" for the Old Bay Trail community off White House Road. She was a founding member of the Largo Civic Association. She was a fierce advocate for her childrens’ education, always active in parent teachers’ associations, and frequently was a volunteer in the schools. She also enjoyed taking up a series of hobbies, from painting to ceramics to cake decorating to knitting. She sewed several special outfits for her daughters, and, in the early seventies, several brightly-colored "mod" outfits for herself. She made sure to teach her daughters the basics of sewing — she felt all children should at least learn to fix a button or a hem. During the short time she lived near San Diego, Calif., she enjoyed beach volleyball and learning to haggle in Tijuana, Mexico. She always enjoyed gardens and gardening, from her parents’ back yard, to her large vegetable garden and rose garden in her first house, to the Ocean City plantings with the well-placed thorn bushes to prevent the "tourists" from walking through the tomatoes. She favored a lush, dynamic garden design that was once described by a small visitor as a "beautiful jungle". She was always interested in the weather forecast, and discussing the latest theories of healthy diet. Because her parents died in their 50′s, she was amazed she stayed so healthy so long.

Everyone who knew her remarked on the strength and courage she showed as she nursed her husband through ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease) for five years while also taking on his portion of the household chores. As her role of caregiver became physically more demanding, she boasted about how strong her new daily "workout" had made her. After her husband passed away, Mrs. Peloquin took up walking 10,000 steps a day in the neighborhood to keep in shape.

One of her great joys in life was the time she spent with her family and friends in Ocean City Maryland. She chatted on the beach or on her front porch, walked for miles on the beach, served happy-hour snacks to her family and friends, and arranged occasional outings to a local restaurant to watch the sunset over Assawoman Bay accompanied by the 1812 overture. She was unafraid to address rowdy young renters who were breaking the Ocean City Maryland noise ordinances, to give them a chance to behave themselves before she called the cops. And she just as frequently asked the ice cream truck driver to turn down the loud music that disrupted the peace for half an hour at a time. Mrs. Peloquin was frugal, but always offered her time generously to her family and friends. She frequently helped friends trouble-shoot and repair a household problem, offered to help remove spots from carpets, and spent time with shut-ins. She frequently discovered that some parts were not strictly necessary to get small appliances working again.

Mrs. Peloquin bequeathed to her children the conviction that problems can be solved if you put your mind to it, and "keep plugging away" at it. Because she always seemed to succeed at any task she decided to set her mind to, her daughters are still amazed that she did not succeed in overcoming the lung cancer that was diagnosed in March 2012, and which took her so shortly afterwards. She is survived by her three daughters — Dr. Renee Peloquin Mattie, Michelle Peloquin Riess, and Dr. Angela Peloquin Moss — her brother Oscar Lee (Monk) Morris III, and six grandchildren. Her husband, Robert A. Peloquin, died in 2003. Two of her brothers, William Mack Morris and Jerry Martino Morris, predeceased her.

Relatives and friends are invited to Patricia’s Life Celebration on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 from 11 a.m. until service time at noon at  George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 6160 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill, Md. Interment Arlington National Cemetery, 2PM. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations be made in Patricia’s name to the American Cancer Society, 11331 Amherst Ave., Silver Spring, Md. 20902.

Elmer J. Johnson, Jr.

OCEAN CITY — Elmer Joseph Johnson, Jr., 69, died Aug. 27, 2012 at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin.

Born in Baltimore, he was the son of the late Elmer J. Johnson, Sr. and Marie Federowicz Johnson.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy J. Johnson, and children, Brian E. Johnson and his wife Kimberley and Kelly A. Barker and her husband Tim. He was beloved grandfather to Abigail, Carson, Aaron, and Declin. He leaves three sisters, Georgia Jubb and her husband Walt, Joan F. Siegmund and her husband Joseph, and Irene “Katherine” Bruchalsky and her husband Joe, and a brother-in-law, James Marhefka and his wife Jaqueline. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews and a host of friends.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, at 1 p.m. at the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. Friends may call two hour prior to the service. Rev. Olin Shockley will officiate. A donation in his memory may be made to www.caseycaresfoundation.org

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Thelma Jane Parks

Thelma Jane Parks

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Thelma Jane Parks, 54, died Saturday, Aug. 16, 2012 at Lee County Memorial Hospital.

Born in Annapolis on Sept. 17, 1957, she was the daughter of Thelma Helen Majors and the late Arlis L. Parks.

She is survived by her three children, Shela L. Giddens, James A. Giddens and Thelma Jeanet Davi of Fort Collins, Colo.; six grandchildren, Annie, Savannah and Elizabeth Greer, William and Allen Davi, and James Giddens; step-dad, Lawrence P. Majors of Berlin; sisters, Ester R. Luesenberry of Chesapeake Beach, Md., Susan M. Johnson of West Ocean City and Cynthia A. Parks McDaniel of Santa Crus, Calif; brothers, Michael F. Parks of Ocean Pines and R. Clinton Parks of Berlin; step-brother William L. Majors of Forestville, Md.; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers in law and sisters in law and her long-time companion, Gary A. Regan.

She was a home maker, cook, caregiver, bookkeeper for Alcan and lately for a trucking company. She also did cleaning on Captive Island and Sanibel Island and the Fort Myers area.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Taylorville United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. at 11252 Adkins Road in Berlin. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the church at PO Box 456, Berlin, Md. 21811.

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