E. Wallace Oest, active in scouting

January 07, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Staff Writer

E. Wallace Oest, who was active in Boy Scouting for nearly 60 years, died Monday of a stroke at the Edenwald retirement community in Towson, where he had lived since 1985. He was 88.

His interest in scouting began in the 1930s as a member of the troop committee of Troop 60, which was sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church in South Baltimore. In the following six decades, he held many positions in the Baltimore Area Council of Central Maryland.

In 1955, he became council commissioner, and during his 10 years in that position he saw the Baltimore Area Council become one of the top Boy Scouts of America councils in the country. He served the council as a neighborhood commissioner and treasurer and was a member of the board for 22 years.

He was a founding member in 1964 of the Lutheran Scouting Association of Maryland.

He was awarded the Silver Beaver, scouting's highest award for local volunteer leaders, in 1946, and the Lutheran Lamb Award by the Lutheran Church Commission in 1969 for his faithfulness to the church and scouting.

In 1970, he was honored for his service to the Baltimore council when a campsite at the Broad Creek Scout Reservation in Harford County was named for him.

"He was recognized for his olive drab uniform, white shirt and green tie, which he still wore and was based on the old-style uniform that was used until the late 1930s," said J. Vernon Lentz of Lutherville, who worked in scouting with Mr. Oest for 25 years.

"He didn't have a family . . . and scouting was an outlet for him. He was devoted to the boys," Mr. Lentz said.

Dr. Benjamin L. Harris, retired director of research and development at Edgewood Arsenal and who lives in Glenarm, said, "He was interested in the out of doors and kids, and you have to be interested in those two things in order to be involved in scouting. He was simply a prince of a fellow."

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Oest attended city schools and was a graduate of City College. He began his business career working for Wells Fargo while attending junior high school. He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1934 from the Baltimore College of Commerce, now part of the University of Baltimore.

In 1921, he joined the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a travel agent and from 1945 until his retirement in 1969 was a passenger representative, handling car charters. He also was the railroad's military representative at Fort Meade, Fort Holabird, Aberdeen Proving Ground and Edgewood Arsenal.

After retiring from the B&O, he was assistant general passenger agent in the charter motor coach department of the Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad. He retired from the bus company in 1971 and was executive director of the Maryland Tire Dealers Association for several years.

He was active in many organizations, including Junior Achievement, the Exchange Club, the Central YMCA, the Kiwanis Club of Baltimore and Corinthian Lodge No. 93 of the Masons.

He had been a member of Christ Lutheran Church since his christening in 1905 and had also been a member of the Baltimore District Lutheran League.

Services were held yesterday at Christ Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, the former Dorothy Sheppard of Baltimore; and many cousins.

Memorial donations may be made to Christ Lutheran Church.

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