Philip Heuisler Jr., 86, headed Maryland Glass

July 15, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

Philip Ignatius Heuisler Jr., retired president and chairman of the board of the Maryland Glass Corp. and an early supporter of the use of recycled glass as a paving product, died Wednesday of pneumonia at Union Memorial Hospital. The Roland Park resident was 86.

He was born in Baltimore and reared in Catonsville, the son of Hilda Gardiner and Philip I. Heuisler Sr. His chemist father helped Capt. Isaac E. Emerson create the formula for Bromo-Seltzer.

His father was later president and chairman of the board of the Emerson Drug Co. and president of Maryland Glass, a subsidiary of Emerson Drug, which manufactured the trademark cobalt blue bottles for Bromo-Seltzer, Vicks Vapo-Rub, Noxema and many other pharmaceutical products.

Mr. Heuisler began his business career at 18 when he went to work for Emerson Drug. He later took a job at Maryland Glass, becoming president and chairman of the board in 1963. He also held similar positions with the Gulfport (Miss.) Glass Corp. and retired from both companies in 1974.

From 1974 to 1986, he was chairman of the board of Ross-Matthai Co., a Baltimore-based tabletop accessories firm.

Charles L. Whittington, retired Maryland Glass treasurer, said, "He knew the company from A to Z because he had been in it all of his life. He was an understanding and outgoing individual whose office door was always open to the employees. You felt very free going in there to sit down and talk matters over with him. I'll always remember him as a very kind person."

In 1971, Mr. Heuisler became a supporter of then-City Council President William Donald Schaefer's plan to pave Baltimore streets with glasphalt -- a paving material made of crushed waste glass known as cullet, limestone and asphalt.

The material, which has a distinctive sheen at night and is no longer in use today, was first used in August 1971 on Charles Street between Lexington and Saratoga streets. That area of Charles became known as "Glitter Street."

"While glasphalt didn't add or subtract anything from street maintenance," said a 1978 Sun article, "it did wonders for the atmosphere, giving the area a Hollywood and Vine-type aura."

The 50 tons of crushed glass needed to pave one block with glasphalt was processed by Mr. Heuisler's firm, which was on Wicomico Street in Southwest Baltimore.

During World War II, Mr. Heuisler remained at the helm of Maryland Glass, which was re-tooled to make products for the war effort. He also served as an officer in the Coast Guard Reserve where his duties included assisting the port captain of Baltimore in receiving and playing host to visiting warships and merchant vessels. He also commanded a shore patrol unit that patrolled Baltimore nightspots frequented by merchant seamen and servicemen on leave.

As a child on his parents' 22-acre farm in Catonsville, he raised vegetables in the family garden and squab, which he sold to nearby families and restaurants.

He played on a community football team called "The Little Potatoes Hard to Peel" and was an amateur welterweight boxer, fighting on the club circuit around Baltimore and elsewhere on the East Coast.

He went to high school at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg and Loyola.

In the early 1930s, he was one of the founders of the Baltimore Junior Chamber of Commerce.

He was a congregant of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He was a board member of South Baltimore General Hospital, now Harbor Hospital Center, and St. Agnes Hospital, and for many years was a volunteer Santa Claus at Stella Maris Hospice, Children's Hospital and the Christ Child Society.

He was a member of the Baltimore Country Club, the Elkridge Club, Seaview Country Club, the Maryland Club and the Ponta Vedra Club in Florida.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 11 a.m. today at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St., Baltimore.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, the former Betty I. Kelly; two sons, Philip I. Heuisler III of Guilford and J. Stanley Heuisler of Roland Park; three sisters, Elizabeth Hebner Lentz, Katharine Heuisler and Mary Charlotte Russell, all of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Cathedral Preservation Trust Fund, 5300 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210.

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