Seymour Lessans, a former Maryland state pool champion, died Jan. 29 of complications following emergency heart-bypass surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 72.
Mr. Lessans, a native of Baltimore, retired 10 years ago after a career as a construction and home-improvements salesman and after tours of duty with the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps.
The Northwest Baltimore resident started playing pool as a youngster and worked to develop his proficiency. In the 1960s and early 1970s, he began winning titles in various championship matches. He specialized in the game of nine-ball.
Once, in the mid-1960s, he played a three-day, informal nine-ball match against Ed Kelly, who was then the all-around world champion in straight pool, nine-ball and one-pocket pool, and battled him to a draw.
In March 1972, he was upset by Joe Cataldi, 100-82, in the first round of straight pool play in the Maryland State All Around Pocket Billiard Championship at the Alameda Billiards Hall.
After retiring from business, he kept up his game and played nearly every day at Gentleman's Cue, a Pikesville pool hall, until he fell ill in mid-January.
Mr. Lessans is survived by his wife, the former Madeline Cooper; and by two daughters, Linda Seidel and Janis Rafael, both of Baltimore County. He is also survived by two brothers, Oscar Lessans of Florida and Monroe Lessans of Baltimore.
Services were held last month at Hebrew Friendship Cemetery.