Henry Bosz, state personnel chief, diesHenry G. Bosz, an...


May 06, 1992

Henry Bosz, state personnel chief, dies

Henry G. Bosz, an affable career bureaucrat who was Maryland's personnel secretary in charge of some 40,000 employees in the 1970s, died yesterday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center from complications of diabetes.

Mr. Bosz, 66, and his wife, his personal secretary, both ended their careers the day in 1978 that Gov. Harry R. Hughes fired him in a Cabinet overhaul.

Mrs. Bosz had been hired away from her job as secretary to the state school superintendent the year before, when Mr. Bosz's secretary died unexpectedly. He avoided adverse publicity and complaints of nepotism by first seeking advice from other state officials and then announcing the hiring in a press release.

A native of Baltimore, Mr. Bosz grew up in Highlandtown and was a 1943 graduate of City College. After a postwar stint in the Army, he earned a bachelor's degree in political science and public administration at Washington College in Chestertown.

Mr. Bosz taught in Baltimore schools for two years before beginning his 26-year career in state government as a job classification analyst.

An office romance led to his marriage in 1961 to the former Maria Messina. They met while he was a budget bureau analyst to the Department of Mental Hygiene, and she was secretary to the department's commissioner.

Mr. Bosz was an assistant to Gov. Spiro T. Agnew on health matters, particularly the technical aspects of Medicaid, before becoming commissioner of personnel in January 1969. He became the first secretary of the Department of Personnel, created in 1970 in a reorganization of the executive branch.

His expertise on a wide range of subjects, his gentle but persuasive manner, and a reputation as an efficient and experienced state bureaucrat with no political axes to grind made him a skillful Cabinet trouble-shooter in the administration of Gov. Marvin Mandel.

When a new law took effect requiring financial disclosure by all state officials, many sought advice from Mr. Bosz on how to fulfill the obligation yet avoid public embarrassment. Mr. Bosz's statement contained hints of his sporting and entertainment interests outside his work: small investments in a San Juan racetrack and an ill-fated Broadway show, "Over Here," which featured the Andrews Sisters.

Mr. Bosz, who at times spoke of himself as a "frustrated actor," had an extensive collection of Playbill theater magazine covers, begun while he was in the Army.

Mr. Bosz's only immediate survivor is his wife.

Visiting hours are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Home, 6500 York Road. The funeral on Friday will be private.

A memorial service for Lawrence Jackson Staton, a nightclub doorman known to thousands of Baltimore blues fans as "Tiny," will be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the March Funeral Home, 1101 E. North Ave.

Mr. Staton, a large man who gained fame keeping the peace at the fabled No Fish Today on Eutaw Street and for the last 10 years at the 8 x 10 club on Cross Street, died Thursday of a heart attack. He was 42.

To do the job of a bouncer well, he said in a 1986 interview, takes more than size.

"You need patience and a really high tolerance," he said. "You can't be as big of an [expletive] as the guys you've got to control. . . . Alcohol has a way of changing people's attitudes, how they perceive themselves. Dealing with guys is not too bad, but women drunks are the hardest."

At the 8 x 10, where he was on the door almost nightly since the club's 1982 opening, Mr. Staton was a member of the family.

"There was a lot of crying here on Friday night," Barry "Duke" Fetrow, who often double-teamed the door of the Federal Hill club with Mr. Staton. "He was a great personality and a lot of fun. I met a lot of people through Tiny."

A benefit concert to help Mr. Staton's family pay funeral expenses is scheduled at the 8 x 10 next Tuesday.

One of eight children born to a West Baltimore stevedore and his wife, a social worker, Mr. Staton graduated from Edmondson High School in 1967, where he played tackle on the varsity football team. He later took psychology classes at Morgan State University.

He also worked with young people at outreach programs associated with a project called Echo House.

In 1978 he became the bouncer at No Fish Today -- often showing his deft steps on the dance floor with young women who nearly disappeared in his shadow -- and went to work for the 8 x 10 after No Fish was destroyed by arson in 1981.

The night before he died at his North Lakewood Avenue home, Mr. Staton stayed up late with one of his brothers to talk about the Rodney King verdict.

"He was disheartened by how little things have changed," said Anthony Staton.

In addition to Anthony, Mr. Staton is survived by four other brothers, Moses, James, David and John, all of Baltimore; and two sisters, Anne L. Staton and Barbara J. Staton, both of Baltimore.

The family suggests that memorial donations be made to the American Heart Association.

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