Port Tobacco Players mourns the passing of Frederick (Fred) Mower, a wonderful actor who has graced our stage, on May 22 2021 in La Plata, Maryland.
Written by the Mower Family.
Fred was born September 14, 1937 in Washington, DC, the second child of the late Richard Webb Mower and Mary Elizabeth Hager Mower. Fred attended Anacostia High School where he spent many happy summers playing ball at the Anacostia flats. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1956 and was honorably discharged in 1959. While in the Marines, he served as part of the USMC detachment on naval ships, including the U.S.S. Boston and the U.S.S. Intrepid (now a museum in NYC). He visited 22 countries during his service. After attending the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Academy, he served as a DC Police Officer at Precinct No. 10, earning honors and awards, including the Police Officer of the Month. He obtained his Maryland Real Estate Broker’s License and managed St. Charles Realty, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Prudential Real Estate, and established and managed the Waldorf office of Home Towne Real Estate.
Devoting decades of service to the community, Fred was appointed by the Governor to the Great Oaks Advisory Council. He was Chairman of the Board of Public Safety, a member of the Board of Directors of Parks & Recreation, President of the Waldorf Little League, a member of the Board of Trustees of Physicians Memorial Hospital (now the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center), Chairman of the annual Charles County Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair (four years), and a member of the Charles County Board of Appeals for 10 years, serving the last three as Chairman. He was an outstanding athlete and volunteered at Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy as the basketball coach. One of his favorite pastimes in recent decades was watching the CHASM (Charles and St. Mary’s County) Baseball League.
Fred had a beautiful voice and starred in several musical productions of the Port Tobacco Players. He shaved his head for the role of Daddy Warbucks in “Annie,” starred as Beau in “Auntie Mame,” as Bill Sykes in “Oliver,” and Big Julie in “Guys and Dolls.” There is a plaque on the back of a chair at the theater with his name engraved.
Fred was known for his laughter, teasing, and affability. He was quite the character, whether playing Pitch with friends or sharing time with his wife’s Ohio family. He was devoted to his sisters-in-law, Nancy A. Johnson, Linda Johnson Dishon, and Beth Johnson Blauser, as well as to his many nieces, nephews, and two cousins. His many friends meant the world to him. Fred mourned the passing of his family members, sister Elizabeth June Mower White, and brother-in-law Ronald R. Johnson and James L. Dishon, as well as the recent passing of great friends, Norman Garrison and Larry R. Holtz.
Fred is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Scarlett Johnson Mower, his son J. Scott Mower (Suzanne), his daughter Tamara Elizabeth Mower, his granddaughter Katelyn Elizabeth Mower Drvar (Dan), his one-year old great-granddaughter, Riley Suzanne Drvar, and his lifetime friends since kindergarten, Steve Clarke and Jim Reesch. His daughter-in-law, Suzanne, gave him loving care and attention.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at Middleton’s Farm on Maryland Route 5 in Waldorf, Maryland from 2-5PM. All who knew and cared for him are invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, those who choose may send donations to Holy Angels School, 10450 Ellerbe Road, Shreveport, LA 71106, where Scarlett and Fred’s daughter, Tammy, is in residence. Holy Angels provides programs for the disabled, mentally and physically challenged and was established by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrow.
Port Tobacco Players mourns the passing of Norma Stone Neergaard, a wonderful actor who has graced our stage, on August 2, 2021, after a slow decline.
Written by the Elliott and Thompson families.
She was born on June 23, 1933, to Charles and Minnie Stone in Winchester, Kentucky where she lived until after she met and married Charles Neergaard (died 1990).
Her early days on Boone Avenue in Winchester brought her to the 1st Presbyterian Church where she sang in the choir. There in the back row was her soon to be husband, Charles. They didn’t know one another until they met at a party months later. Norma intentionally rode with a friend expecting to find someone to give her a ride home. Smart and sassy, Norma found Charles. They were married 8 months later.
While living in the Carriage House on Belmont Ave, the couple had two girls. Soon, job changes caused them to move to West Virginia, Marcellus, New York and then LaPlata, Maryland. Always, the first order was to find a church home and sing in the choir. Norma was always willing to lead the children’s choir or play piano. She always had a neighbor or two sending kids over for piano lessons too. Music always filled the house. Norma would say that the most fun was performing with the Marcellus Chorale….especially in the Spring Broadway Review. At every party there was always a group circled around Norma playing the piano singing in harmony.
Norma was an avid golfer. She always remembered fondly the trophy won with Debbie in the Mother-Daughter Tournament.
After her husband passed away, and both daughters married, Norma enjoyed grandparenting the babies that came. She also dusted off her “actress” hat and was cast in several productions of the Port Tobacco Players. With a goal of visiting all 50 states, Norma and friend made big driving trips across the country and met her goal. Eventually, she relocated near her girls in Texas. There she was busy with new friends and the social recreation offered where she lived.
Throughout her career, she was an exceptionally detailed asset to each company. Her earliest profession was as a proofreader for the Winchester Sun and later for the Marcellus Observer. The Law firm of Bryant, O’Dell and Basso in Syracuse, New York hired Norma as a legal secretary. After her move to Maryland, she began work at the Law Office of Merle Turner in LaPlata. Norma also had a side gig as a high school gymnastics judge – she had a detailed, discerning eye.
Norma always put others to shame with her skill at Scrabble and Banana-Grams. The daily crossword puzzles were her morning challenge. She couldn’t start the day without the newspaper and her coffee.
“Nana,” as she became known to the family, was the matriarch. Always at family gatherings, she enjoyed the finer things, like Blue Crab and cheap red wine. She was a fine cook who could make fried chicken and pinto bean soup like no other. In the kitchen, she was known however, for her homemade hot rolls affectionately renamed “Nana’s Buns.”
Having lived through lean times, Norma was a frugal shopper and a coupon-cutter extraordinaire! She enjoyed finding treasures at garage sales and refinishing furniture. Her treasures are now housed in the homes of her daughters….along with the back-stories of each. Additionally, she used her skill in sewing, crochet, and knitting to supplement the wardrobes of her girls. Ask Karin about the knitted pants and top….
Part of Norma and Charles’ household was Norma’s mom, Minnie. Confined to a wheelchair, they took her into their home early in their marriage. They selflessly and lovingly cared for her for nearly 20 years.
Although Norma didn’t want to be a burden, she reluctantly agreed and lived the last 5 years of her life under the loving roof of Karin and Ed. Their willingness and ability to have her there was a gift to her and the rest of the family. For the last year, Norma was cared-for by loving aides provided by “Granny Nannies, Inc”. Especially of note were those at the end.
Norma was preceded in death by her husband, Charles. She is survived by her daughters, Karin Elliott (husband Ed) and Deborah Thompson (husband Scott); grandsons, Ardi Elliott, Bradley Thompson (wife Jessica), Matthew Thompson and Michael Thompson.
An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease sent Norma’s daughters to a free course provided by the James L. West Alzheimer’s Center. This instruction provided a tremendous knowledge base from which to navigate through Norma’s decline. It is a recommended resource! Because of this, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Dementia and Caregiver Education program at www.JamesLWest.org