|Ramona Kenneday DeGraenreid Gasper
Saturday, December 4, 2004
Ramona "Rae" Kenneday DeGraenreid Gasper
Ramona Kenneday deGraffenried Gasper, 78, a docent at Washington National
Cathedral for more than 15 years, died of cancer Nov. 30, 2004 at Montgomery Hospice
Mrs. Gasper loved introducing visitors, especially children, to the National Cathedral, and
she regaled her family with little-known facts about the building. She loved to talk with
people from all walks of life during her regular Wednesday tours, a family member said,
and appreciated the interdenominational nature of the church. Illness forced her to stop
giving the tours about two years ago.
A native Washingtonian, Mrs. Gasper graduated from Eastern High School (1944),
where she was a cheerleader and worked part time at the FBI's fingerprinting facility.
After graduation in 1944, she worked as a secretary for the Federal Savings and Loan
Insurance Co., where she was chosen to test an IBM electronic typewriter. She quit the
insurance company in 1958 to have children.
While taking her children to events and playgrounds around Camp Springs, she realized
the community had no recreational community center. She also worked on efforts to
open Allentown Fitness Splash Park in Fort Washington, Tucker Road Ice Rink in Fort
Washington, and Temple Hills Community Center. She saw all these great parks in
other neighborhoods and that gave her the drive, daughter Deborah Gasper said. She
amazed herself with what she could get done.
She was a member of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Potomac. Interested in her family
history, she served as president of the deGraffenried Association. Her father owned
seven grocery stores, called White Front Markets, on Capitol Hill when she was
Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Ray Gasper of Potomac; four children,
Deborah Gasper of Rosslyn, Nancy Walsh of Potomac, Edward Gasper of Rockville
and Pamela Boland of Potomac; two sisters, Elizabeth Webb of Front Royal and Upper
Marlboro and Patricia Briel of New Carrollton; and six grandchildren.