Floyd E. O'Hern, POW, Beth Steel foreman

November 21, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Floyd E. O'Hern, a retired Bethlehem Steel Co. foreman who was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II, died of heart disease Wednesday at his home in Edgemere. He was 75.

Before his retirement a decade ago, he worked 44 years at Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point mill.

He started as a laborer and worked his way to general foreman and manager of the No. 4 open-hearth furnace. As a member of Bethlehem Steel's Industrial Management Club, he often inspected and reported on the company's other area facilities.

Mr. O'Hern was for many years a member and officer of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization that supports many charities. Formerly the Maryland grand master, he was the grand secretary of the Grand Lodge of Maryland from 1984 until his death.

"We did a lot of traveling to and working with all the state lodges," said Herbert Rotan, former grand chaplain. "All our work was for the benefit of mankind."

Born in Cherry Oak, Ind., Mr. O'Hern moved to Baltimore shortly after graduating from Newport High School in Nanticoke, Pa., in 1938. He and the former Florence R. Hake had been married 49 years when she died in 1990.

During World War II, he was an Army paratrooper. In 1944, on a drop over the Rhine River, he was captured by the Germans and imprisoned until the war ended. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

"He would never talk about his war experience," said his daughter Maureen E. Grimes of Fort Howard.

Services were to be held at 11 a.m. today at the Duda-Ruck Funeral Home of Dundalk, 7922 Wise Ave.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include a son, Michael F. O'Hern of Atlanta; another daughter, Kathleen D. Brown of Reading, Pa.; a brother, William O'Hern of Rockville; two sisters, Vera Edward of Ocala, Fla., and Betty Dove of Ann Arbor, Mich.; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial donations to Lodge Forest United Methodist Church, 2717 Lodge Forest Drive, Baltimore 21219.

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