F. Ward DeGrange Sr., lumber firm president

March 13, 1995|By Karen Zeiler | Karen Zeiler,Contributing Writer

F. Ward DeGrange Sr., retired president of an Anne Arundel County lumber company that has employed three generations of his family, died Friday of cancer at his home in Glen Burnie. He was 79.

In 1948, Mr. DeGrange and his father founded the DeGrange Lumber Co., a family business that now employs Mr. DeGrange's four sons.

The Glen Burnie company supplies lumber, hardware and other building supplies to contractors, individual builders and the public.

Mr. DeGrange began working with his father in construction in the early 1940s. They built more than 100 houses in the Glen Burnie area before establishing the lumber company.

Mr. DeGrange was active in the Glen Burnie Improvement Association and several banks.

From 1958 until his death he served on the board of directors of the Bank of Glen Burnie. From 1958 until 1989, he also was a director of Glen Burnie Savings and Loan, and from 1989 until his death he was an adviser to the board at Glen Burnie Mutual Savings Bank.

Mr. DeGrange was a trustee of Anne Arundel Community College from 1970 to 1976.

Active at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Mr. DeGrange organized its annual carnival for 16 years. He also served on the parish building committee, which oversaw the design and construction of Holy Trinity School, now the Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School, and a convent, now the parish center.

He was a longtime member of the Glen Burnie Kiwanis Club.

Mr. DeGrange's son James E. DeGrange Sr. of Glen Burnie said he was a devoted family man,

He particularly liked spending time with his children and their families at his summer home in Pinehurst on the Chesapeake Bay, his son said.

Born in Braddock Heights, Frederick County, he was a 1934 graduate of Loyola High School. He attended St. Rose of Lima Elementary School in Brooklyn.

In the mid-1930s he worked briefly as a copy boy for what became the News American.

Mr. DeGrange and Edith Burns were married in 1940. Mrs. DeGrange died in 1988.

His hobbies included woodworking and photography. He also enjoyed traveling.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 10 a.m. today at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church.

He is survived by three other sons, F. Ward DeGrange Jr. of Glen Burnie, John DeGrange Sr. of Millersville and David DeGrange of Pasadena; two daughters, Joyce Wiesner of Severn and Katherine Shipley of Glen Burnie; two sisters, Mary Linton of Glen Burnie and Rita Tull of Mesa, Ariz.; 14 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, 126 Dorsey Road, Glen Burnie 21061; or to the Building Fund of North Arundel Hospital, 301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie 21061.

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