Long­time Prince Ge­orge’s his­tory teacher dies at age of 72

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page -

Pa­tri­cia John­son Speier, a long­time teacher at Largo High School and a Morn­ing­side elec­tion judge, died sud­denly Dec. 24, 2015. She was 72.

She was born in Chicago, the daugh­ter of Bert and Frances John­son, and moved with her fam­ily to Florida, Oxon Hill and Edge­wa­ter, un­til in 1972 she set­tled on Pine Grove Drive in Morn­ing­side. She at­tended Oxon Hill Ju­nior High and grad­u­ated from Oxon Hill High School. She con­tin­ued her ed­u­ca­tion at Anne Arundel Com­mu­nity Col­lege, Hood Col­lege in Fred­er­ick, earned her bach­e­lor’s at Bowie State and her master’s at John’s Hop­kins.

She taught his­tory for four years at Suit­land Ju­nior High be­fore trans­fer­ring to Largo High School, re­tir­ing af­ter 26 years. Her in­ter­est in his­tory, es­pe­cially the Civil War, led her to vol­un­teer at the Sur­ratt House in Clin­ton.

She met her fu­ture hus­band, Peter Speier, dur­ing their time at Largo High School.

They be­came en­gaged, on their first over­seas trip, at Span­gen­berg Cas­tle, Ger­many, in Peter’s mother’s home­town, and were mar­ried in 1976 at the VFW in Morn­ing­side, the first wed­ding ever held there.

Pa­tri­cia and Peter loved to travel and vis­ited 112 coun­tries.

She is sur­vived by her hus­band of 40 years, Pro­fes­sor Peter Speier, who teaches math at Prince Ge­orge’s Com­mu­nity Col­lege, and by a cousin, David Brook­shire, of Ari­zona. And by all those stu­dents she taught over the years.


Ashby Har­mon of Sky­line was among Viet­nam War vet­er­ans honored in ceremonies March 31 at the Se­nate Of­fice Build­ing in An­napo­lis on the oc­ca­sion of AARP Mary­land Vet­er­ans Leg­isla­tive Day. He re­ceived a Viet­nam Vet­eran Lapel pin and a hand­some medal­lion bear­ing the words: “Mary­land Hero *Ser­vice*Valor*Sac­ri­fice.”

Floyd Shields of Sky­line had such suc­cess­ful knee surgery re­cently that he’s go­ing to have the other leg done.

Sue Ma­son is search- ing the where­abouts of a Suit­land High ‘62 grad­u­ate, Frieda Joan (Sap­ping­ton) Pope, who used to live in Morn­ing­side, across the street from the Vil­lage Barn. She was last known to be in Ari­zona. If you have in­for­ma­tion, email me at mud­dmm@aol.com, and I’ll pass on the word.

Com­ing up

The Pres­i­den­tial Pri­mary Elec­tion is Tues­day, April 26, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If I haven’t got­ten around to vot­ing early, I’ll cast my vote at Sky­line School (per­haps for the last time, as Sky­line is clos­ing).

Morn­ing­side Elec­tion Day is May 2. Polls will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Suit­land High Class of ‘63 has a re­union com­ing up June 17-18 in An­napo­lis at the Dou­ble­Tree Ho­tel. For in­for­ma­tion, call Carolyn Hart­sock Fon­ner, 443-3709677.

Chang­ing land­scape

Ho­race & Dickie’s is open­ing on Al­len­town Road, across from An­drews. I did a search and learned that it is seafood car­ry­out. There are some great re­views for the fish and the choco­late cake, some not-so-great for the mac and cheese and the greens. How­ever, most com­mented on the friendly ser­vice. Years and years ago that build­ing opened as a Dutch Kitchen, or some­thing sim­i­lar.

Prince Ge­orge’s County Ex­ec­u­tive Rush­ern Baker III (D) de­liv­ered re­marks April 7 at the grand open­ing and rib­bon cut­ting of the county po­lice de­part­ment’s new po­lice academy in Up­per Marl­boro.

De­part­ment stores are clos­ing around the country: Wal­mart says it is clos­ing 154 stores this year; Macy’s is in the process of clos­ing 40; and by June, Kohl’s will shut­ter 18 stores. I won­der if any of th­ese clo­sures will be in Prince Ge­orge’s.

SHA closes en­trance to Metro Park & Ride lot

On April 4, the State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion (SHA) tem­po­rar­ily closed the south en­trance to the Branch Av­enue Metro Park & Ride Lot A as part of a $37 mil­lion Branch Av­enue in­ter­change con­struc­tion project. All other en­trances to Branch Av­enue Metro Park & Ride lots will re­main open dur­ing con­struc­tion.

Dur­ing clo­sure, crews will in­stall new storm-wa­ter man­age­ment, con­struct a new traf­fic sig­nal at Old Soper Road and per­form road widen­ing for a new ac­cess road from south­bound Branch Av­enue to the Branch Av­enue Metro Sta­tion. Weather per­mit­ting, the new ac­cess road should be open to traf­fic in the fall.

In­for­ma­tion about the tragedy in Morn­ing­side

Jody Ny­ers emailed about the 1951 plane crash in Morn­ing­side. She did a Google search, which sent her to Wikipedia. The pi­lot, who bailed out, was found not guilty be­cause he was tak­ing or­ders, as in­structed, from six of­fi­cers in the tower. The case is Snyder ver­sus United States.

By the way, the tragic ac­ci­dent was on Lom­bardy Road, near its in­ter­sec­tion with Al­lies. Lom­bardy later lost its name and be­came a part of Po­plar Road.

May he rest in peace

My son, Brian McHale, died of brain can­cer on April 11. Mass of Chris­tian Burial will take place at St. Mary’s Church in Fort Wal­ton Beach, Fla., on April 22. I’ll tell you about my dear Brian in a fu­ture col­umn. In the mean­time, re­mem­ber him and all the McHales in your prayers.


Happy birth­day to Tay­lor Fos­ter, April 22; Jim Reilly, David Ti­tus and Bar­bara Sparks, April 23; Edna Lu­cas, April 24; Sue Stine Mc­Conkey-Ma­son, Daisy Young, Ke­nia Spivey and my grand­son David McHale, April 25; G.A. DeFelice, April 26; Michael Call, Apr. 27; Rose Tiller, Bev­erly Got­shall Mar­quis, DJ Fowler and Jes­sica Phipps, April 28.

Happy an­niver­sary to John and Ruth An­thony, Jr., on their 38th, April 22; Lewis and Tr­isha (Pitts) Woods, their 27th on April 22; Janet and Brian Spivey, April 23; Emanuel and Juanita Chap­lin, their 53rd on April 26; and Jan and Cindy Smith, their 44th on April 28.

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