Christopher J. Rosendale Sr., former owner and editor of the Bay Times, a Stevensville weekly, died Monday of an apparent stroke at his farm in the Centreville area. He was 65 and had long been ill with arthritis.
Mr. Rosendale, who had lived in Stevensville for many years, started the paper in 1963 and sold it in 1974.
In 1972, he became the first newspaper editor or reporter to gain previously secret information, in this case on nonsupport cases, by suing under the state's Public Information Law, which had been enacted two years earlier.
In his newspaper, he advocated training for volunteer firemen, school reform, prayers in public schools and the establishment of Chesapeake College and the Chesterwye Center, a workshop and training facility for retarded adults.
His support of the center brought him a community service award from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.
Pictures he took of the Cambridge riots of the 1960s won an award from the National Newspaper Association.
A native of Baltimore, he attended Sacred Heart of Jesus School and Mount St. Joseph High School before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1945. He served in China with the 1st Marine Division.
He was a member of the Marine Corps Association and a life member of the 1st Marine Division Association.
He also held memberships in the Grasonville Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Jeff Davis Post of the American Legion and the Kent Island Post of the American Legion.
He was a former district adjutant in the American Legion and a life member of the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Company, where he had been a director and held several line offices.
He also was a former president of the Kent Island Elementary School PTA, and a charter member of the Kent Island Elks Lodge and the Grasonville Moose Lodge.
Before starting the newspaper, he held several jobs, mostly in advertising, including one as an advertising salesman for The Sun.
A Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday at St. Christopher's Roman Catholic Church in Chester, where Mr. Rosendale had been a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine teacher and a member of the parish council.
Survivors include his wife, the former Mary Lou O'Hare; four sons, Matthew M. Rosendale and Christopher J. Rosendale Jr., both of Centreville, Daniel D. Rosendale of Laurel and Michael J. Rosendale of Queenstown; a daughter, Eileen Rosendale Garza of Magnolia, Texas; four brothers, Joseph Rosendale Sr. of Seminole, Ala., Henry Rosendale of Perry Hall, John Rosendale of Baltimore and Edmund J. Rosendale of Stevensville; two sisters, Agnes Rosendale of Baltimore and Mary Wheat of Perry Hall; and nine grandchildren.