Willem van Zelm, Ruxton engineer, entrepreneur...


April 20, 1991

Willem van Zelm, Ruxton engineer, entrepreneur, dies

Services for Willem Dekkers van Zelm, a retired mechanical design engineer who at age 70 founded a company that sold equipment he designed for the handicapped, will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Boyce and Carrollton avenues, Ruxton.

Mr. van Zelm, who was 85, died Thursday at his home in Ruxton after a long illness.

He retired in 1986 and sold Vee Zee Products, which marketed through a national distributor reaching aids for the handicapped that he had designed and patented. He started the company about 15 years ago after a bout with arthritis.

From 1948 until he sold it in the late 1960s, he owned van Zelm Associates Inc., which developed and made catapults and aircraft carrier arresting gear for the Navy and did other military work.

He was a consulting mechanical engineer between owning the two businesses. Earlier, he worked for the Glen L. Martin Co., now Martin Marietta.

He had dreamed of designing airplanes in his childhood in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he was born, and studied engineering at New York University.

He came to Baltimore in 1928 as a draftsman for the aircraft company and left the firm in 1948 as chief of new design.

A former member of the vestry at the Church of the Good Shepherd, he also belonged to L'Hirondelle Club.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Grace Wick; a son, William Wick van Zelm of Lutherville; a daughter, Cornelia van Zelm of Baltimore; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

The family suggested contributions to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd or to the Visiting Nurse Association of Baltimore.

Angelo Cascio

Had sales business

A Mass of Christian burial for Angelo Cascio, who owned a door-to-door sales business, will be offered at 9 a.m. Monday at St. William of York Roman Catholic Church, Edmondson Avenue and Cooks Lane.

Mr. Cascio, who was 73 and lived on Crosby Road in Catonsville, died of respiratory failure Tuesday at St. Agnes Hospital.

Though mentally and physically handicapped since his birth in Martin, Pa., he had long owned a business, selling small items door to door from a basket, first in East Baltimore, where he was reared, and later in Irvington.

In the 1940s and 1950s, he also sold goods at Benkert's Park and worked at a newsstand on Baltimore Street near Holliday Street.

He enjoyed playing cards with his family and also went to the Catonsville Senior Center.

Mr. Cascio became sufficiently well-known and liked that passers-by in Ocean City, seeing him sitting outside in a wheelchair, would greet him by his first name, according to a sister.

He is survived by four sisters, Rose Santoro of Catonsville, Alberta J. Coleianne of Baltimore, Betty Franco of Randallstown and Dorothy C. Morse of Ocean City; a brother, Paul J. Cascio Jr. of Lochearn; and many nieces and nephews.

Frances L. Kucinski

Baltimore native

A Mass of Christian burial for Frances L. Kucinski, a native of Baltimore, will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Hanover, Pa.

Mrs. Kucinski, who was 77, died yesterday at her home in Hanover after a long illness.

She had moved to the Pennsylvania community from Westminster about four years ago.

The former Frances L. Boniarski was reared and educated in Glen Burnie.

Her husband, Joseph H. Kucinski, who died in 1981, retired from the Bethlehem Steel Corp. cold strip mill at Sparrows Point.

Mrs. Kucinski is survived by a son, David J. Kucinski of Berlin; a daughter, Barbara J. Schnittke of Hanover; four grandchildren; rTC and two great-grandchildren.

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