John M. PearceEngineering executiveJohn M. Pearce, a...


October 31, 1992

John M. Pearce

Engineering executive

John M. Pearce, a retired electronics engineering executive, died Monday of heart failure at the North Oaks Retirement Community in Pikesville.

A memorial Mass for Mr. Pearce, 86, was to be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church, 101 Church Lane, Pikesville.

He had moved to the retirement community last year after 10 years in Palm Beach, Fla. He retired in 1966 after four years with the Bendix Radio Division in Towson.

A native of Ottawa, Ill., who attended Notre Dame University, he worked from 1926 until 1943 for WGN radio in Chicago, where he started the sound effects department and became chief sound engineer.

Coming to Maryland, he worked for the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory on the proximity fuse and then moved in 1946 to what is now the Martin Marietta Corp., starting its electronics department and working on the Matador Missile.

Though he left Martin in 1952, he returned there from 1959 to 1962. He was awarded a presidential citation for his defense work during his first years at Martin.

In 1952, he started PHEBCO an electronic circuitry manufacturer, which was bought by the Hoover Electronics Co., where he served as vice president and general manager before moving in 1954 to the Cubic Corp. in Washington as marketing and governmental relations chief.

At age 13, he built one of the first 100 licensed amateur radio stations and he continued his interest in ham radio broadcasting at various time under three sets of call letters, 93BPA, KB3LD and WB4P. For many years, he talked with an official of the Vatican who was also a ham radio operator.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, the former Margaret Dorney; three daughters, Maurita Pearce Riley of Catonsville, Marcia Pearce Burgdorff of Baltimore and Marguerite Pearce Davis of Fort Worth, Texas; and nine grandchildren. Dr. Frederick A. Gibbs, a Baltimore native who helped to developthe modern electroencephalograph and did key research on the causes of epilepsy, died Oct. 18 of pneumonia at a nursing home in Deerfield, Ill.

A memorial service for the 89-year-old Wilmette, Ill., resident was be conducted at 11:30 a.m. today at the Kenilworth Union Church in Kenilworth.

Professor emeritus of neurology at the University of Illinois, he was a 1925 graduate of Yale University and a 1929 graduate of the Johns Hopkins medical school.

In the 1930s in Philadelphia with the Johnson Foundation and then at Harvard University, where he remained until he joined the Illinois faculty in 1945, he helped develop the modern electroencephalograph, which measures brain waves or minute electrical discharges of the brain and helps study the causes of epilepsy. At the time, it was believed to be caused by spasms of the blood vessels in the brain but now is believed to result from electrochemical malfunctions in the brain cells.

He worked with his wife, the former Erna Leonhardt, who died in 1987, and with various other researchers.

He and his wife founded the American EEG Society, the Epilepsy Clinic at the University of Illinois medical school, the American Medical EEG Association and the Brain Research Foundation Institute at the University of Chicago. In addition to three honorary doctorates, he was winner of a Mead Johnson Award, a Lasker Award and others from the Illinois Professional Council, the Chicago Pediatric Society, and the Brain Research Foundation.

He is survived by two sons, Erich L. Gibbs of Wilmette and Dr. Frederick A. Gibbs Jr. of Salt Lake City; a sister, Marion Perkins of Needham, Mass.; and four grandchildren.


John K. Carmody

Trial lawyer

James K. Carmody, a trial lawyer who practiced in Annapolis for more than 25 years, died Thursday of cancer at the Anne Arundel County Medical Center.

A Mass of Christian burial for the 64-year-old Annapolis resident was to be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church there.

Though he maintained an independent practice at his death, he earlier had been an associate or partner in several firms, most recently Carmody, Childs and Flood.

Born in Baltimore, where an uncle was a lawyer and his grandfather a lawyer and Orphans' Court judge, he was a graduate of Loyola High School and College and, in 1964, with honors, of the University of Baltimore law school.

He had played baseball in high school and college and for a semi-professional team before serving in the Army during the Korean War.

A racing, fan, he said that he began his interest in handicapping as a child when his mother took him to the Preakness in 1936 and allowed him to pick a horse for a $2 bet.

He chose the winner, Bold Venture, and later had luck picking long shot winners in the the Preakness in 1974 and 1976.

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