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In Memoriam for August 2000

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Fred Middledorf of Queensbury Road died in June. Fred was a longtime resident and active in civic affairs over the years. He donated hours of time and effort as an officer of a Boys and Girls Club active in the 1960s. Our sympathy is extended to his wife, Tina, and to his sons.


George Prather of Ravenswood Road died recently. "Mr. Prather" lived on Riverdale Road for many years and was well known around the town for his always ready friendly greeting and his readiness to take on grass cutting and handyman jobs, particularly for elderly residents. Sympathy is offered to his family.


Andy Gravatt of Nicholson Street died on July 24. For over 30 years, Andy Gravatt studied and collected information about the Ercoupe airplane--the "spin free" plane first manufactured at the ERCO plant in the town in 1941 and then again after World War II from 1945 to 1951. In 1994, Andy acquired a 415D Ercoupe which he placed in the College Park Airport Museum on long term loan. We extend condolences to his wife Pat and his daughter and son.


Elsie Sonnenberg formerly of Madison Street died on July 1. "Miss Elsie" was 98 and had lived for 66 years in the same house she moved to in 1928 before moving to a nursing center in 1994. Her father established the Sonnenberg Bakery first in Bladensburg in 1899, then in Hyattsville in 1914. When the Hyattsville bridge was built the bakery moved in 1928 to its site on Baltimore Boulevard in Riverdale Park. Miss Elsie was known to family, friends and neighbors for her wonderful sense of humor and her keen interest in football. Sympathy is extended to her nieces and nephews.


Mrs. Elizabeth Graefe Gosset Elizabeth Graefe Gossett of Ravenswood Road died on July 13. Elizabeth Gossett moved to Riverdale Park at the age of two and lived in the town for the next 86 years, raising three sons at the Ravenswood Road home she and her husband built. She was educated at Riverdale Elementary and graduated from Hyattsville High School. Her mother was a charter member of the Riverdale Woman's Club and Betty Gossett followed in her footsteps as a lifetime member of the club. She taught Sunday School at the original Riverdale Presbyterian Church (today the site of the Calvert Memorial Park) and was a school secretary at Gaywood and Riverdale Elementary for more than 20 years. A longtime supporter of Riversdale, Betty was a volunteer in the gift shop until shortly before she died. Well loved by her neighbors for her sweet and gentle manner, we extend our sincere sympathy to them and to her sons Barry, Kenneth and Patrick.

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