Helen Pisner, 85, who did bookkeeping and secretarial work for the old Charcoal House restaurants in suburban Maryland, died Feb. 16 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. She had myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disorder.

In 1952, Mrs. Pisner’s husband opened the first Charcoal House, in Silver Spring, and she worked there as a cashier. She continued working for the franchise as it expanded to Langley Park and Wheaton until her husband sold the businesses in 1978.

She was a Bethesda resident before moving in 2009 to Morning Star Assisted Living in Silver Spring.

Helen Horowitz was born in Richmond and raised in Washington, where she graduated from Roosevelt High School. She attended the University of Maryland.

Her hobbies included rug hooking and calligraphy.

Survivors include her husband, Norman Pisner of Silver Spring, whom she married in 1947; three children, Leigh Pisner of Wheaton, Dan Pisner of Olney and Shelley Ferguson of Poolesville; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein