- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2003

Edward C. Opet, 46,hospital administrator

Edward Charles Opet of Fulton, Md., a hospital administrator, died Aug. 25 after a long battle with cancer at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. He was 46.

A native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Mr. Opet received his bachelor’s degree from Florida International University’s School of Hospitality Management in 1979. He continued his education at Harvard University, Cornell University and Wake Forest University.

Mr. Opet was senior vice president of Human Resources at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, and a member of Mercy’s President’s Council and Board of Directors.



“Ed taught us the meaning of courage,” said Thomas R. Mullen, president and chief executive officer of Mercy Medical Center.

Before joining Mercy, Mr. Opet was employed by Manor Care Inc. and Marriott Corp.

His employment with Marriott included positions at Marriott headquarters in Bethesda; Montgomery General Hospital in Olney; Mead Nursing Home in Meadville, Pa.; St. Francis Hospital in New Castle, Pa.; and Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He was a member of the Society of Human Resources Management.

Mr. Opet was an avid runner, gardener, world traveler, basketball player, cook and car buff.

Survivors include his wife of 11 years, Heidi D. Marinaccio-Opet, formerly of the District; a 4-year-old son, Nikolas M. Opet; his parents, Carl E. and Alberta Opet of Wilkes-Barre; three brothers, Thomas D. Opet of Oswego, N.Y., Paul S. Opet of Kennewick, Wash., and James M. Opet of Hopewell, N.J.; five sisters, Louise L. Sulitka of Syracuse, N.Y., Delphine T. Opet of Miami, Diane E. Thomas of Wilkes-Barre, Joan M. Rojsuontikul of Dale City, Va., and Marisue J. Sack of Kingston, Pa.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Aug. 30 at St. Louis Church in Clarksville, Md. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today in the chapel at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Contributions may be sent to the Nikolas M. Opet Scholarship Fund, c/o Mercy Health Foundation, 301 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202.

Nathan Harner, 20,college student

Nathan Harner, a student at Northern Virginia Community College, died at his Falls Church home of unknown causes Sept. 1. He was 20.

Mr. Harner was a 2001 graduate of Falls Church High School, and he expected to receive his associate’s degree in liberal arts from NVCC this spring.

Mr. Harner was a lifelong resident of Falls Church, where he was active in Boy Scout Troop 140. He rose to Life Rank and served as the troop’s senior patrol leader. At Falls Church High, he participated in football, wrestling and lacrosse.

After graduating from high school, Mr. Harner worked as a sales associate at Eastern Mountain Sports in Tysons Corner and then as an attendant at the Elite Fitness health club in McLean.

Survivors include his parents, Craig and Julie Harner, and brother, Ben Harner, all of Falls Church.

A memorial service was held Saturday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Falls Church.

Donations may be sent to the Nathan Harner Scholarship Fund, Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Road, Annandale, VA 22003.

Marion Annie Murchie,church musician, 86

Marion Annie Murchie, who served for 65 years as a church musician, died from a stroke at the Harrisonburg (Va.) Rehabilitation Center on July 8. She was 86.

She was born in Oakland, Calif.

Mrs. Murchie became the private secretary to the West Coast manager of W.R. Grace & Co. She moved to Northern Virginia in 1955 and spent the rest of her life there.

She met Carl Murchie in a music club in Oakland and together they gave recitals in the San Francisco Bay area, leading to a 63-year marriage.

At the age of 9, she began her Christian service as a pianist at Sunday school. That service lasted until 2003, when Mrs. Murchie was a pianist at Bethel Regular Baptist Church in Great Falls. In the years between, she was a soloist, choir member, arranger of music programs and pianist at churches in California, Colorado and Northern Virginia.

For 15 years, she served in these positions at Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington. She also taught Sunday school.

Mrs. Murchie is survived by her husband, Carl, of Harrisonburg; three sons, Rod Murchie of Arlington, David Murchie of Sendai, Japan, and Philip Murchie of Chicago; a daughter, Laurie of Ruther Glen, Va.; 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

A memorial service was held at Bethel Regular Baptist Church.

Contributions may be sent to Washington Bible College, 6511 Princess Garden Parkway, Lanham, MD 20706; the C.S. Lewis Institute, 4208 Evergreen Lane, No. 222, Annandale, VA 22003; or Compassion International, Colorado Springs, CO 80997.

Betty Hitchcock, 83,retired federal worker

Elizabeth Jean “Betty” Tucker Hitchcock of Alexandria, a retired federal worker, died Aug. 28 of metastatic lung cancer at the Roy and Margaret Halquist Memorial Hospital Center in Arlington. She was 83.

Mrs. Hitchcock was born in Plainfield, Ind. She graduated in 1936 from St. Rose’s Academy in the District at the age of 16.

She was an accomplished pianist at an early age, following in her mother’s footsteps. In her earliest years, she was a child model who appeared on advertising billboards for Lifebuoy soap with her mother and older brother. She also appeared in ads for Eagle Brand Milk products.

Her brother was the late actor Forrest M. Tucker, who appeared in more than 100 movies and a number of television shows, including “F-Troop” on TV, with John Wayne in 1970’s “Chisum” and 1949’s “Sands of Iwo Jima” and “Auntie Mame” in 1958.

Mrs. Hitchcock accepted her brother’s star on the Walk of Fame in 1986. Her younger brother, the late Robert Patton, was an accomplished artist and painter.

Mrs. Hitchcock began working in the Department of the Army as a management information systems analyst in 1952.

She retired from the federal government in 1972 and moved to Hollywood to become a real estate manager, first at Howard’s Weekly and then finishing her career managing Villa Venetia in Marina Del Ray, Calif.

While at Villa Venetia, Mrs. Hitchcock organized and hosted the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots events yearly to help needy families during the holiday season.

After retiring from real estate management in California, she moved back to Virginia in 1989 to be close to her family.

Mrs. Hitchcock is survived by her husband, Malcolm H. Hitchcock; two sons, Richard Johnson of Edgewater, Md., and Steven Hitchcock of the District; two daughters, Doris Lannen and Donna Johnson, both of Prospect, Pa.; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Services and burial were Sept. 5 at Quantico Marine Corps Base Chapel in Quantico, Va.

Contributions in her name may be made to Hospice of Northern Virginia.

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