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

Former Assistant State’s Attorney Ed O’Connell dies at 74

Edmond Brendan O’Connell, 74, an attorney in Upper Marlboro and counsel to the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners, died Aug. 3. He was a longtime resident of Manchester Estates in Camp Springs.

Ed was born in Washington, son of Denis and Elizabeth

O’Connell. He worked (and hitchhiked) to put himself through Gonzaga High School and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and School of Law.  During his Gonzaga years, he first met Theresa Interdonato.  They married in 1968.

Ed was an Assistant State’s Attorney before entering private practice, and had an early law office on Allentown Road in Camp Springs. He served on the Board of Advisors at Southern Maryland Hospital and was active in the Prince George’s County Democratic Party.        His volunteer activities included coaching his sons’ sports teams and leading their Scout troops at St. Philip’s Church. He enjoyed cooking, reading mysteries and histories, music and baseball.  He loved to garden and to travel.

Ed is survived by his wife of 49 years, Theresa; sons Denis (Shannon) and Paul; grandchildren Edmond and Sophia; sisters Eileen Douglass and Joan O’Connell. In the homily, Denis—also an attorney—spoke of his dad’s humor, and lawyerly advice, “After seven minutes you lose the jury.”


Valerie McDonald, formerly of Skyline, and Emanuel Cooper III are engaged to be married at Camelot by Martin’s, in Upper Marlboro, on Oct. 15. They met at American University when both were working on master’s degrees. Last August Emanuel proposed to Valerie at Times Square in New York.

Valerie is the daughter of Freda and Michael McDonald, my neighbors on Skyline Drive.  Emanuel is the son of Carol Dyson and Emanuel Cooper Jr. of Kansas City, MO.

Shirley Holmes, of Skyline, was celebrated for her 85 amazing years with a surprise birthday party at the Morningside Firehouse on Aug. 27.

Mary Dean, with her daughter Tina Hodge, traveled to Bardolph, Illinois, in August, to move her 92-year-old sister, Alma Richardson, to Morningside. Alma now makes her home on Allies Road with Mary, her last surviving sibling. Welcome to Morningside, Alma!

Coming up

• The Prince George’s County Fair, in Upper Marlboro, Sept. 7–10. Info: 301-404-5566, or

• Anne Arundel County Fair, in Crownsville, Sept. 13–17.  Info:

• Joint Base Andrews Air Show, Sept. 16–17. Free. Info:

• Capital Challenge Horse Show, Prince George’s Equestrian Centre in Upper Marlboro, Sept. 29–Oct. 8. Info:

Changing landscape

There’ll be a public meeting Sept. 14 regarding construction on the MD 4/Suitland Parkway Interchange, set to begin with pavement markings, work zone configurations, setting of concrete barriers, daytime and nighttime lane shifts. The meeting will be 6 to 8 p.m. at Forestville High School, 7001 Beltz Drive in District Heights.  Info: 410-545-8813 or

Aldi’s, in Camp Springs, held a Grand Reopening on August 25, following extensive renovation. They advertise a “fresh new look” and “save up to 50% on groceries.” And now they honor major credit cards.

Groundbreaking for the Metro Purple Line was held Aug. 28, with Gov. Larry Hogan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao among the VIP shovel-wielders. The 16-mile light-rail line will run from New Carrollton to Bethesda.

Morningside Memories

In 1944 Suitland Parkway was completed. The Morningside Volunteer Fire Department organized; its Ladies Auxiliary, the following year.

In 1949 Morningside incorporated and the first election was held, June Stocklinski, the first mayor.

In 1952 the Women’s Civic Group formed and issued the first Town Directory in 1953.

In 1955, Suitland Road was first paved.

In 1956 Morningside Elementary School opened.

May they rest in peace

Dr. John A. Droter, 83, one of Dentistry’s Today’s Top Clinicians in Dental Continuing Education, and a Ft. Washington resident, died July 25. A native of McKees Rock, PA, he attended the University of Pittsburgh, graduating first in his School of Dentistry, and the University of Maryland Dental School. He served in the Air Force and then established a practice in Mitchellville, diagnosing facial pain (TMJ). Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Hildegard; children, Dr. John R., Dr. Joseph E. and Jim Droter, and Linda Bailey; and four grandchildren. Services were at St. Columba and burial at Arlington. From Post obit:  “He embraced every opportunity to fish, play poker, golf, play guitar, pick hard crabs and ski with family and friends.”

Shirley Jeannette Barker-Benincasa, 86, longtime resident of Camp Springs, died Aug. 2.  Survivors include her husband, Dr. Vincent Benincasa, DDS; children, Emilia, Natalie, and Joseph; sister, Audrey Thurman; two grandchildren and two great-grands. Mass of Christmas Burial was at St. John’s in Clinton, with burial at Resurrection Cemetery Mausoleum.

Leslie Floyd “Butch” Roland, 75, of Waldorf, a 1960 graduate of Oxon Hill High, died July 31.  He was a Supervisor at D.C. Water & Sewer Authority (Blue Plains) for 45 years, retiring in 2005. His wife of 48 years, Joyce, preceded him in death.  Survivors include children, Laurie Ann, Gregory and Jeffrey; sister Roberta Powell; and two grandchildren.


Happy birthday to Mike Dawes, Sept. 9; Charlie Deegan, twins Robert Andrew Woods and John Dexter Woods and Nan Brown, Sept. 10; Carol Lee, Sept. 11; Anthony Thomas and Hank Busky, Sept. 12; Patricia Epperly, Sept. 13; and Kenny Clark, Sept. 14.

Happy 58th anniversary to Les and Kathy Hedrick on Sept. 13; and to Sal and Kathy (Blankenship) Biberaj on their 14th anniversary, Sept. 14.

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by Audrey Johnson 301 888 2153  


St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Baden Parish will be celebrating their 141st Homecoming Anniversary on Sunday, September 17, 2017. Morning worship service will be held at 9:30 AM. They are honored to have Reverend Kermit C.C. Moore as their speaker of the hour accompanied with Asbury United Methodist Church Men’s Choir at their evening service at 3:00 PM. Family and friends are invited to attend their services. Lunch will be served from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The church address is 13801 Baden Westwood Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613.


Prince George’s County brings bus service onto Hospital Campus (MedStar/SMHC). The bus Route 30, provides community bus service to Camp Springs and Clinton from 6:00 AM to 7:24 PM Monday through Friday every 50–55 minutes. There is no service on Saturdays, Sundays or major holidays. Phone 301-324-BUSS if you need more information.


Join us for our Annual Crab Feast Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 3:00 PM–6:00 PM. All you can eat crab feast featuring: juicy crabs, baked chicken, sloppy joes, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, green beans, desserts, and cold beverages. Adults $40/ kids (6–18) $20.00. Children under 5 are free. Tickets on sale until September 15 (No sales at door).

The church is located at 6016 Allentown Road, Camp Springs, Maryland 20746. Rev. Crystal Davis Jones, Pastor. Church office number is 301-899-7521.


Fall Revival, sponsored by the Evangelism Ministry, the theme is “Getting Back On Track” will begin Friday, September 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM.  Pastor Michael Carrington from St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Reisterstown, Maryland will be the speaker. Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 5:00 PM, Prayer and Praise Service with Derrick Johnson as the Praise Leader and the Thorpe Singers will render some selections. Sunday September 24, 2017 International Sunday, Minister Pearl Chase, CLM, Asbury United Methodist Church, Accokeek, Maryland is the speaker at the 8:00 AM Service. Pastor Robert Carter, Calvary United Methodist Church, Waldorf, Maryland is the speaker at the 10:30 AM Service. Pot luck dinner to follow.

The church is located at 10700 Brandywine Road, Clinton, Maryland 20735. Rev. Dorothea Stroman is the Pastor. Church office number is 301-868-1281.


Prince George’s County Council Member Mel Franklin, Prince George’s County Council, District 9, is proud to co-sponsor PTSO 8th Annual College Fair September 20, 2017 from 3:30 PM–6:30 PM at Surrattsville High School. The address is 6101 Garden Drive, Clinton, Maryland 20735. For more information, contact the office of Council Member Mel Franklin at (301) 952-3820.



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