LeBaron S. Willard Jr., was finance executive

August 01, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

LeBaron S. Willard Jr., a retired Commercial Credit Co. executive, died Tuesday of heart failure at Union Memorial Hospital. The longtime Cross Keys resident was 85.

Mr. Willard began his career in 1940 in Boston as New England representative of the company and later returned to his native New York City. In 1963, he was promoted to vice president and moved to Baltimore, later becoming chairman of the board before retiring in 1973.

Thomas McCausland, an associate at Commercial Credit, described him as "refined and gentle of manner, ever courteous and considerate of others, blessed with an easy sense of humor and ready wit.

"An internationally recognized authority in the field of banking and finance, he earned the warm respect and affection of his fellow man," Mr. McCausland said.

He was born and reared in New York City, the son of LeBaron S. Willard Sr. and Anabel Gardiner Van Nostrand. He was a 1923 graduate of the Fay School in Southborough, Mass., and a 1928 graduate of St. Mark's School. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1932 from Harvard College, where he was a member of the Fly Club.

He served in the Navy from 1942 to 1946, being discharged with the rank of lieutenant.

While a resident of New York, he served on many boards, including those of the Greater New York Fund; Manhattan Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital; the American Red Cross; and the Salvation Army.

He was a member of the Maryland Club; the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club; the Elkridge Club; the Racquet and Tennis Club; the University Club; the Apawamis Club in Rye, N.Y.; and the Maidstone and Devon Yacht Club in East Hampton, Long Island, N.Y.

He was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, the Society of Colonial Warriors, the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John in Jerusalem.

He served as a director of American General Corp., Provident Savings Bank and Union Trust Bank, and he was a board member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Museum of Art. He also served as treasurer of Union Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Willard spent his winters in Palm Beach, where he was an original member of the Landmark Commission and founded the Preservation Foundation, the aim of which is to preserve the architecture of Addison Mizner, the nationally known architect who designed many of the city's buildings.

He also was vice president of the Society of Four Arts and was active in the affairs of Good Samaritan Hospital in Palm Beach.

He enjoyed traveling and studying his family genealogy.

Survivors include his wife of 30 years, the former Alice Kistler Lawson; two sons, LeBaron S. Willard III of Kansas City, Mo., and Thomson C. Willard of Ruxton; a daughter, Elizabeth Willard Willett of Ruxton; a sister, Nancy Holiday of Shaftsbury, Vt.; two stepsons, Edward C. Lawson Jr. of Tulsa and Eugene K. Lawson of Washington, D.C.; a stepdaughter, Patricia Lawson Gow of Houston; and 15 grandchildren. An early marriage ended in divorce.

The family suggested that memorial donations be made to the Willard Fund, c/o Union Memorial Hospital, 201 E. University Parkway, Baltimore 21218.

Services for Mr. Willard were conducted Saturday at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore, with interment planned for today in Rye, N.Y.

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