Diane Leatherman, 68, a writer and community activist, died Jan. 7 of ovarian cancer at her home in Cabin John.
Born Dec. 23, 1938, in Kansas City, Mo., she was the wife of Mark Leatherman for 24 years. Her first marriage to Larry Heflin ended in divorce.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Ms. Leatherman came to Cabin John in 1967 and spent more than three decades in community activities, including the formation of Home Study, a group which focused on helping black children with tutoring, school supplies and small scholarships. She organized the annual Cabin John Crab Feast, served as president of the citizens association and led efforts to enlist the county’s support in preserving and restoring the historic black cemetery behind the AME Zion Church on Seven Locks Road. She received the 2001 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.
A freelance writer, Ms. Leatherman wrote four books, two of them for young readers: fictionalized accounts of young girls in history, ‘‘Rebecca, A Maryland Farm Girl,” based on her mother-in-law’s growing up in rural Frederick County, and ‘‘Abigail—Before the Revolution,” a story of life on a subsistence farm in Colonial days. Her last book, ‘‘The Lunch Bunch” is a collection of true stories of Montgomery County patients and survivors of cancer, who met weekly for lunch and support.
Following her diagnosis of ovarian cancer, Ms. Leatherman began a campaign of educating women and health professionals about the strong possibility of a connection between fertility drugs and ovarian cancer. Articles on this subject appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Post, the Montgomery Sentinel, The Gazette and Washington Woman.
Ms. Leatherman served as executive director of Friends of the Library, Montgomery County; D.C. coordinator, Orphan Foundation of America; and staff director, The Glen Echo Park Foundation. She had also worked as a costumed interpreter at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run and as a ranger with the National Park Service at Glen Echo.
In addition to her husband, Ms. Leatherman is also survived by five children, Heidi Heflin, Leland Liu and Mitchell Heflin, all of Los Angeles, Holli Heflin of New York and Blythe Leatherman of Cabin John; two nieces, one nephew, four grandchildren and a foster son.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 6201 Dunrobbin Drive, Glen Echo. Burial will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Aldeth Spence Christy Foundation, 5 Victoria Square, Frederick, MD 21702 or to The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, 500 Northeast Spanish River Blvd., Suite 8, Boca Raton, FL 33431.
The Cremation Society of Maryland, Baltimore handled arrangements.
Mary Elizabeth (Burdette) Ward, 94, of Boonsboro, formerly of Damascus, died Jan. 3.
Born May 5, 1911, on the family farm in Damascus, she was the daughter of the late John J. and Cora King Burdette. She was the oldest living member of the King-Burdette Family.
She was the wife of the late Woodrow W. Ward Sr. for 48 years.
Mrs. Ward attended elementary school in Woodfield’s one-room schoolhouse and often commuted to the school with neighbors in a horse and buggy. She attended high school in Damascus and later helped on the family farm until the Great Depression, when she moved to Baltimore for nine years and became a bookkeeper at Montgomery Wards.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. and Mrs. Ward worked together for the Ward Tag and Title Service, where they provided necessary licensing assistance to automobile dealers in Maryland.
Mrs. Ward was an active of Wesley Grove United Methodist Church and was the membership-recording secretary for the church. She participated on countless church committees and helped with church dinners for 60 years. Her hobbies included making afghans and quilts and researching genealogy. She spent many years researching the ancestral lines of the Thompson⁄Woodfield and King⁄Burdette families. She attended the Damascus Senior Center and played in the Kitchen Band.
Survivors include two children, Pauline Mallgrave and husband, Craig, of Florida and Woodrow W. Ward Jr. and wife, Frances, of Urbana; two sisters-in-law, Elizabeth and Betty Burdette; eight grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by a sister, Lucy Braun and four brothers, Norman, Russell, Albert and Perry Burdette.
Funeral services were held on Saturday at Wesley Grove United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg. The Rev. Barbara B. Vercelli officiated. Interment was in the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Reeders Memorial Home, 141 S. Main St., Boonsboro, MD 21713.
Molesworth-Williams P.A., Funeral Home, Damascus handled arrangements
Phyllis Gugeler Weyl, 92, formerly of Fayetteville, Ark., died Jan. 4 at Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mt. Airy.
Born Jan. 29, 1913, in Danville, Iowa, she was the daughter of the late Fred and Maggie Wagner.
She was the wife of the late Otto Weyl of Rhorberg, Germany.
Mrs. Weyl attended Wheaton College during the Depression and graduated from the University of Arkansas with the class of 1969. She taught school for over 25 years, beginning in a one-room schoolhouse in Iowa and retiring as a second-grade teacher in Prairie Grove, Ark. She was an active member of her community Home Demonstration and Farm Bureau and took great pride in the family farms in Iowa and Arkansas.
Survivors include one son, Herbert Weyl and wife Marilyn of Lincoln, Ark.; a daughter Mina Luther and husband Lonnie of Damascus; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters: Opal Page of Holland, Mich., Ruth Williams and husband Wendell of Danville, Iowa, and sister-in-law Zerlan Wagner of Burlington, Iowa.
She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Selma Weyl; one grandson Mark Weyl and two brothers, Ivan and Wyman Wagner.
A viewing was held at Molesworth-Williams Funeral Home, Damascus, Jan.8.
A memorial service will be held at Howe-Savoy Bible Church in Savoy, Ark.
A graveside service will be held Jan. 12 at Jaggar Cemetery near Danville, Iowa.
Memorial contributions may be made to Montgomery County Youth-for-Christ, P. O. Box 371, Olney, MD 20830.