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In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
By Mary McHale 301-735-3451

Jim Behr, FBI Ident retiree, Barnaby Manor Citizens’ President, dies at 90

James “Jim” Behr, 90, a resident of Oxon Hill for 61 years, died June 25, with his daughter Pamela at his side, at Southern Maryland Hospital.

He grew up in Davenport, Iowa, and enjoyed fishing along the banks of the Mississippi near his home or the Behr family camp in Iowa.  He graduated from Davenport High, and worked at Schlegel Rexall Drug Store until the FBI hired him for the Identification Division where he became a supervisor.  He retired with 43 years’ service.

He met his bride Shirley at Arthur Murray Dance Studio.  They married in 1952 and moved, first to a small apartment in SE Washington, then to North Forestville where Jim purchased a small Laundromat (which still stands).  He got into real estate, and custom home building throughout Oxon Hill and Fort Washington.

He was involved with the Oxon Hill Police Coffee Club, Camp Springs Senior Center, and was a charter member of the Barnaby Manor Citizens where he served as President and later Treasurer until his death.  He enjoyed gardening and family history. He attended Oxon Hill Lutheran Church and Messiah Lutheran in Alexandria.

Jim’s wife of 57 years, Shirley, died in 2010.  He’s survived by his daughter and son-in-law Pamela and Donald Smart.  Services were at Kalas, with burial at Resurrection.

I always looked for Jim at the Morningside Parade.  I was sad that he was not there this year.


Town of Morningside: search for new Chief of Police

Morningside Chief of Police Amos Damron retired June 30, and the Town now seeks a new Chief.

The help-wanted notice includes, “Employee must have demonstrated knowledge, skill, and abilities of police methods, practices, and procedures, U.S. and Maryland Constitutions, crime deterrent and prevention procedures.  Bilingual skills a plus (both verbal and written).  Candidate will be subject to in-depth background check to include polygraph testing.  Preferred candidate will live in Prince George’s County…” There’s a lot more information at the website:

Applicants are required to submit a resume, cover letter, and three professional references to the attention of Mayor Bennard Cann at  The subject line should read “Town of Morningside Chief.”  Please, no phone calls.


Coming Up

Next year is the 75th anniversary of the Air Force.  Which may be the reason the Andrews Air Show will be back on Sept. 20, 2022.

St. Philip’s Angel Tree is seeking crocheters or knitters who could provide items this year.  Also, people who could make scarves, hats and mittens.  These items will go to people in need.  For more information contact Suzy Giroux at or Alma Walton at


Neighbors & other good people

I was there under the big tree at Suitland Road Baptist for the 4th of July Parade which drew a big crowd this year.  However, the Parade was much too short and it disappointed Angela who was there from Suitland.  She thought the Parade was going to go around the block and come back down Suitland Road.

I talked with Vicki and Sakura and the Coleman family, all from Clayton Lane, and Wayne Gordon from District Heights.  My great-grandkids, Mary and Wesley kept running into the street, collecting candy and gum.  The Upper Marlboro fire engine rolled past, as did Morningside’s #27 engines, the County Sherriff and Morningside’s Town officers. The three on horseback were a surprise.  But it was all over too soon.   Where were the VFW officers, the Boy Scouts, the school band, the Majorettes, and the politicians?  Maybe next year.

From Nextdoor Morningside website:  “Saturday night in the Safeway parking lot, a man had a passenger in his car who had a medical emergency (person was not breathing).  A passerby stepped in and started administering CPR until the ambulance arrived.  Other Men also stepped in to give moral support.  It was a scary situation, but I thank God…”   The sender was someone from Belmont Crest, a new community near Melwood.


Mary’s Covid report

Maryland had 55 new cases of Covid, as of 5 p.m. July 7, and one more Marylander died.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland teens who get vaccinated will be eligible to receive a full ride to an in-state public university.  The $50,000 scholarships will cover full tuition and fees and will be given to twenty 12–17-year-olds.  Two winners will be randomly selected weekly over the next eight weeks.  Four students will be selected on Labor Day.

Tina, of Hair Force, cut my hair this week.  She wore her mask; I didn’t wear mine.  Things are changing, little by little.  (Hair Force, in case you don’t know, has been operating for more than 35 years, just across the street from the Virginia Avenue Gate at Andrews.)



Happy birthday to my granddaughter Claire Mudd, Michael Busky, Mike Fowler Jr., and former Morningside Police Chief Stephen Armhold, July 17; Allyssa Frederick and Former Morningside Councilman Russell Butler, July 18; Mike Fowler Sr. and Eddie Hall, July 19; Donna Buchin, Dorothy Gessner and Tina Nichols, July 20; Mary Hay, Jeff Frederick, Ryan Simms and David Cook, July 22; Virginia Price, July 23; and Angela Surratt, July 24.

Happy anniversary to my daughter Sheila and John Mudd, their 31st on July 20; Percy and Barbara Crawford, their 49th on July 22; and Steve and Tessie Johnson, their 21st on July 22.

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By Audrey Johnson 301-922-5384


Ruth Harper (fondly known as “Grandma Harper”), was born October 5, 1901, in Nottingham, Maryland and resided there with her parents, Richard and Joanna Brown.  She was married to Albert Harper, and they raised two daughters Ruth and Berline.

She received her training and spiritual nurturing at the Brooks Methodist Church, which is currently Nottingham Myers Church in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  At Nottingham Myers she was referred to as Miss Ruth, Mrs. Harper, and Grandma Harper.  She was well loved and respected everyone.  A Nottingham Myers United Methodist Church certificate was presented to Ruth Harper in appreciation for her years of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Integrity on November 13, 2005.  Until her death on Sunday, February 25, 2007, she loved to pass on her pearls of wisdom.  She served God for four generations.  After her husband died in 1971, Ruth stepped out on faith and a year later received her driver’s license at the age of seventy and drove until she was 96 years old.

A proclamation was presented to Ruth Harper at the Prince George’s County Administration Office on Tuesday, November 13, 2001, in the Counsel Hearing room in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  The Maryland State Flag was flown over the State House in Annapolis, Maryland in honor of Ruth Harper on her 100th birthday at the request of delegate James E. Proctor, Jr. & Joseph Vallario, Jr.  The Senate of Maryland Resolution Certificate signed by President of the Senate, Thomas Mike Miller was presented to her on September 30, 2001, Maryland House of Delegates, House Resolution Certificate was presented September 30, 2001, Governor of the state of Maryland conferred upon Ruth Harper, the Governor’s Citation September 30, 2001. The State of Maryland Governor’s Citation was presented to her on Friday, May 17, 2002.  Prince George’s County Council Certificate of Recognition was received on May 21, 2004.  

State of Maryland Governor’s Citation was presented to her on May 11, 2006, at the 14th Annual Maryland Centenarians Recognition Luncheon (A Celebration of Life honoring Maryland Citizens 100 years of age and older) at Martin’s West, 6821 Dogwood Road, Baltimore, Md.  During the past five years she never missed attending the Annual Centenarian Celebrations, honoring Prince George’s County’s 100+ Year Old Citizens at Newton White Manson in Mitchellville, Maryland.  Friday May 12, 2006, the Maryland Department of Aging Salute Excellence Award Certificate was awarded to her in commemoration of her lifetime achievements and recognized for surpassing the landmark age of 100 years, and at the age of 105, Prince George’s County’s 2ND OLDEST CITIZEN.

Ruth Harper was honored many more times because she was a Centenarian, an eyewitness to the history of the last century.  She saw our country move from the age of horses to one of cars, planes, and space travel.  She saw the miracles of science and medicine and how these advances improved our lives. 

Ruth attributed to her Longevity, a loving family, and the Lord’s help, faith in the Lord, keeping busy, good health, eating right, absolutely no smoking or drinking, doing good for God, good genes, a positive attitude, drinking plenty of water, and only a little bit of sugar and grease.

When my Grandmother Ruth Harper died, we lost the matriarch of our family.  By example she taught us many things.  Submitted by Audrey Johnson (Granddaughter).


It is Casino Time Again with St. Philip’s Church.  So come join us on our trip to Delaware Park Raceway & Casino, Wilmington, Delaware Sunday, August 15, 2021.  Bus will leave St. Philip’s Church at 11 a.m., and Clinton Park-N-Ride at 11:30 a.m., and returns at approximately 9 p.m. 

Fun package includes a $30.00 slot play rebate plus Ole School Music, 50/50, and Cake Sales.  MASKS ARE REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES.  Tickets must be purchased by July 30, 2021.  Donation is $50.00.  Absolutely no refunds.  You are welcome to bring your own spirits.  Benefit:  St. Philip’s Church-Baden Parish, Brandywine, Maryland.  For tickets contact Doretha Savoy 301-233-3136, Vivian Rich 804-301-9530, Shirley Cleaves 302-690-4260. 



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