Shirley Vlasak Baltz, 95, of Hammonton, NJ, formerly of Bowie, MD, died peacefully at home surrounded by her family on September 29, 2017. Shirley was born on August 15, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois, to the late Alfhild Marie and William Vlasak. She heeded the call to serve during WWII, and enlisted in the Navy WAVES. Prior to leaving for basic training, she met a handsome naval aviator, Ensign George Ephraim Baltz, who was shipping out to the South Pacific. They corresponded during the war, and were married on July 28, 1945, until his death on September 28, 1992.
An enthusiast of early American history, Shirley became fascinated by Colonial Maryland history when she and George moved there in 1950. She was a tour guide in historic Annapolis and volunteered at many local historical sites: as a researcher, docent, and even a participant in many archaeological digs. She was named the Bowie City Historian in 1982.
Along with many articles and essays, she authored books on the history of Annapolis, "Quays of the City," on the history of her beloved Belair Mansion, "A Chronicle of Belair," and a resource for local genealogical research entitled "Prince George's County Maryland, Marriages & Deaths in Nineteenth Century Newspapers."
She is survived by her children, George Baltz (Anne) of Fairfield, PA, Melanie Murphy (Dan) of Nashville, TN, Cheryl Prakash (Stephen) of Hammonton, NJ, and Leslie Kendus (Mike) of Cherry Hill, NJ, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Her family wishes to express their gratitude and appreciation to her caregivers and to Compassus Hospice.
Visitation will be on Sunday, October 8, from 2:00 to 4:00, at the Carnesale Funeral Home, 202 South Third Street, Hammonton, NJ. Private burial will be at the Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery in Maryland. Donations may be made to Friends of the Belair Estate, 12207 Tulip Grove Drive, Bowie, MD 20715, in memory of Shirley Baltz. (www.carnesalefuneralhome.com)