John Lalley, ex-chairman of PHH Corp.

March 12, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

John S. Lalley, retired chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the PHH Corp., died Wednesday of cancer at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Cross Keys resident was 67.

He retired in 1981 from the Hunt Valley-based automobile fleet management and leasing and business services company, which he joined in 1952. He became a vice president in 1957, senior vice president in 1963 and president and director in 1966. That appointment marked the first time control of the company's day-to-day operations was not in the hands of its founders.

Mr. Lalley was named chairman of the board in 1971 and retired in 1982.

PHH, founded in 1946 by Duane L. Peterson, Harley W. Howell and Richard M. Heather, had headquarters in the Maryland National Bank Building on Light Street. In 1963, it moved to a new building at Charles and 27th streets. It was during Mr. Lalley's administration that the company moved to new quarters in Hunt Valley in 1974.

Jerome Geckle, who succeeded Mr. Lalley as president, CEO and chairman, said: "He was the first one to emphasize the broadening of the company and diversification beyond fleet management. He was motivated, aggressive and forward-looking."

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Lalley was a 1944 graduate of Loyola High School and joined the Navy, serving aboard a destroyer in the South Pacific during World War II. He was discharged in 1946 and returned to school, earning a bachelor's degree in 1948 from Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg and a law degree from the University of Maryland in 1957.

He went to work as a medical researcher at Johns Hopkins Medical School, where he met Ann Dudley Field of Winchester, Va., whom he married in 1950.

In 1949, he joined the staff of the Baltimore Association of Commerce. He left the next year to work for the American Cancer Society of Maryland.

He served on the boards of many charities, civic associations, institutions and corporations, including the University of Baltimore, the United Fund, Keswick Home and St. Paul's School.

He was a director emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and University.

He lived for many years in Ruxton and on Caves Road before moving to Cross Keys 10 years ago. He also maintained a home in Naples, Fla.

Memorial services were planned for 11 a.m. today at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane, Owings Mills.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two sons, John S. Lalley Jr. of Ruxton and Thomas B. Lalley of Baltimore; a daughter, Nancy L. Newell of Ruxton; three brothers, Joseph M. Lalley Jr. of Asheville, N.C., Thomas L. Lalley of Washington and Richard P. Lalley of Seabrook, S.C.; a sister, Anne Alvear of Quito, Ecuador; and five grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the John S. Lalley Fund at the Johns Hopkins University, or Keswick Home, 700 W. 40th St., 21111.

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