William Eugene “Bill” “Gene” Hay Sr., of District Heights, who served with the Marines during the Korean War, died June 4. After leaving the Marines, he spent his working years at Western Electric. He was active in his District Heights community where he was city commissioner and, later, mayor of District Heights from 1983 to 1985. He spent many years coaching sports and served in various positions on the board of directors of the District Heights Boys and Girls Club.

He was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Marjorie Read Hay, who died in 2015, and his brother Jack Hay. Survivors include his children and their spouses, Bill and Holly Hay, Bob and Suzanne Hay, Carol and Donnie Mitchell; grandchildren Bobby, Mary, Kristin, Billy, Melanie, Brett and Angela; and great-grandchildren Anabella, James and Rory.

Burial was at Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham on June 29. In keeping with coronavirus rules, attendance was limited to 35 people and masks were required.

Neighbors and other good people

Willie Shelton Jr., longtime resident of Skyline, retired U.S. Capitol police officer and Central High School soccer coach, died May 28. More about this great guy in next week’s column.

Congratulations to Craig Olander, squad captain at Morningside Volunteer Fire Department, for graduating from the fire academy and starting as a career firefighter June 21.

The Washington Archdiocese has announced these new assignments, effective May 1: Fr. Patrick Lewis, pastor, St. Philip’s in Camp Springs; Fr. Samuel I. Plummer, pastor, St. Mary’s Piscataway; Fr. Rodolfo A. Salinas-Cabrera, pastor, Most Holy Rosary, Upper Marlboro; and Fr. Chip Luckett, parochial vicar, St. Mary of the Assumption, Upper Marlboro.

District Heights will have an in-person election on July 13, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. All safety precautions will be in effect, including use of personal protective equipment and social distancing of 6 feet.

COVID-19 report

I’m still shut in here in Skyline but doing fine. Report on the coronavirus in Maryland is better but still grim. In Maryland: 65,337 total cases, including 330 new cases through 5 p.m. June 24, deaths: 3,108, including 16 new deaths.

I’m glad that St. Philip’s is now having mass inside the church. But I’m waiting a few more weeks before I venture out with my mask!

Summer meals program returns

Prince George’s County Schools operates the annual Summer Food Service Program from now through Aug. 13.

“Grab and go” breakfast and lunch meals will be available Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to noon at 87 school sites and 12 apartment complexes. Updates to services and sites provided as info becomes available at www.pgcps.org/foodandnutrition.

Suitland house fire

At approximately 5:20 a.m. on June 17, Morningside’s Engine Company and B Ambulance responded to the 3700 block of Swann Road in Suitland “for a report of a house on fire” (as stated on the website). Engine 27 arrived on the scene of a one-story, single-family dwelling with smoke showing from the eaves. A fire was discovered in the attic and the engine company made quick work of the blaze.

All occupants made it out of the home safely.

Morningside Memories: 1980

Morningside held its very first Annual Independence Day Celebration 40 years ago, on Saturday, July 5, 1980. It was a big success, despite the weather, with an estimated 2,000 attending.The day began at 1 p.m. with refreshments, pony rides, a senior citizens’ white elephant stand and games. American flags (flown over the Capitol) were door prizes won by Cletus Benden and Mike David Romines.

Prizes of silver dollars or McDonald’s gift certificates were won in various competitions by children and teens: Lisa Matthews, Josie Koch, Jennifer Kordek, Gary Kline, Monica Swartz, Willy Calloway, Carl Butler, Chris Reiter, Wayne Dullaney, Mike Matthews, Ronda Himes, Wayne Musehl, Don Shanks, Steve Knot, Robert Taylor, Margie Panholzer, Diana Joholski, Lashawn Boston and Lisa Solomon.

A storm smashed through the area around 4 p.m. causing cancellation of a band concert and other fun activities and left the town without power for several hours.

But there were great fireworks at dusk.

Lorraine LaValley, world traveler

Lorraine LaValley, 98, died at her Ft. Washington home on June 19. She was a native of Troy, N.Y.

She married Earnest LaValley when he was commissioned into the Army Air Corps in 1944. As a military family, the LaValleys moved from station to station in the U.S. and overseas during ballistic and strategic missile development until 1965 when Lt. Col. LaValley was assigned to the Pentagon, supporting the joint chiefs of staff.

Lorraine was active with St. Ignatius Parish, the Ladies of Charity and Andrews AFB Officer’s Wives Club. She worked for Woodward & Lothrop. She traveled extensively to Broadway musicals, luncheons in picturesque locations, shopping excursions, museums, grand garden estates and international capitals.

She was predeceased by her husband and daughter Patricia. Survivors include her children Carol, Theresa, Brian and three grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial was in St. Ignatius School Auditorium on June 26, with burial later at Arlington.

Milestones

Happy 95th birthday to Gloria Grapevine on July 3; and happy birthday to Pat Richardson Conlon, Sarah Booth and Jack Hay II, July 3; Grace Carruth, Matthew Ryan White and Nya Nichols, July 4; Jean Ihrig and Timothy Hollowsky, July 5; Chrissy Bennett and Marie Golihew, July 6; Father Kevin Cusick, Charles “Tony” Haley, Sue Richards and Rev. Dr. Kelvin McCune, July 7; Jimmy Gromen, Karlyn Davis, John Anthony III and my grandson Zachary Seidman, July 9; and my daughter Elaine Seidman, July 10.