Selma D Streett (handout, Baltimore Sun / November 21, 2004)

Selma D. Streett, who with her husband developed Anne Arundel County's Chartwell community, died Oct. 8 of heart failure at Gilchrist Hospice in Towson.

She was 98.

The daughter of a businessman and a homemaker, Selma Demmitt was born in rural Carroll County and spent her early years on a family farm in New Windsor until moving to Baltimore in 1927.

After graduating in 1931 from Forest Park High School, she worked as a cashier in the Hutzler's Tea Room.

She was married in 1948 to Charles Albert Merritt, a builder turned developer. After moving to Linstead on the Severn in 1955, the couple developed the communities of West Severna Park, Fairwinds on the Severn and Chartwell.

She also designed the Chartwell Club logo and dinnerware, and oversaw the interior decorating of the club and its landscaping.

She was a member for many years of St. Martin's-in-the-Field Episcopal Church in Severna Park, and had been president of the Altar Guild for two decades. She also chaired church bazaars, suppers and other events.

Mr. Merritt died in 1965.

An avid gardener, she had been president of the Severna Park Garden Club and had served as the Anne Arundel County fundraiser for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

She was married in 1974 to Dr. H. Baldwin Streett, a Baltimore dentist who died in 2000.

The couple lived in Severna Park until moving to the Blakehurst retirement community in Towson in 1996. She enjoyed traveling and playing bridge.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 5 at Severna Park United Methodist Church, 731 Benfield Road.

Surviving are three sons, Charles A. "Chuck" Merritt Jr. of Sarasota, Fla., and Edwin Merritt and Melvin R. Merritt, both of Severna Park; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Edwin McCue ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com