J. Sinclair MarksAutomobile buffJ. Sinclair Marks, a...

June 02, 1995

J. Sinclair Marks

Automobile buff

J. Sinclair Marks, a retired W. R. Grace & Co. official and auto buff, died Sunday of respiratory failure at his Catonsville home. He was 83.

He retired in 1976 as vice president of Grace's agricultural chemicals group, with responsibility for the acquisition of fertilizer and feed companies and overseas expansion.

He began his career at Miller Fertilizer Co. in 1929 and became a bookkeeper when the company was acquired by Davison Chemical Co. in 1935. The next year, he was appointed corporate accountant and, in 1943, superintendent of production control at Davison's Curtis Bay plant. He was promoted to assistant treasurer in 1951, and treasurer in 1954, the year that Grace acquired the company.

Mr. Marks was raised in Charles Village and worked as a soda jerk, and as an office boy at Alex. Brown & Sons to help support his widowed mother while attending City College at night. He became a certified public accountant in 1939.

He taught advanced cost accounting in the Johns Hopkins Evening School during the 1960s.

"His was truly an Horatio Alger story," said his daughter, Bayly Ellen Marks of Chestertown. "He started at the bottom and became successful. He urged younger staff members not to be satisfied with being just a bookkeeper but to go on and get their CPAs. He was a great believer in education."

After Mr. Marks retired, he was a consultant for Grace, a board member of Kimmell Tire Co., and, during the 1980s, a teller of elections for Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co., counting ballots at the annual shareholder meetings.

An auto buff, he owned several classic Mercedes-Benz automobiles, and was a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America and the Mercedes-Benz Club.

He and his wife, the former Lillian Bayly Johnson, whom he married in 1937, maintained a summer house in Severn Forest, near Annapolis, where he liked to go crabbing.

He was a member of the Maryland CPA Association, the Merchants Club, St. Andrew's Society and the Severn River Association.

A memorial service was to be held at 11 a.m. today at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he also is survived by a half-sister, Mary Frances Manning of Roland Park.

Memorial donations may be made to the Bryn Mawr School, 100 W. Melrose Ave., Baltimore 21210.

Walter F. Nechey

Army colonel

Retired Army Col. Walter F. Nechey died Saturday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after a heart attack. He was 73 and lived in Odenton.

Colonel Nechey retired in 1971 as a plans, training and security officer at Fort Meade.

During World War II, he entered the Army as a second lieutenant in 1942, and was assigned to the 26th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division. He remained with that outfit through combat in North Africa, Sicily, France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Germany, and during the postwar occupation of Germany.

His decorations include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with V and four Oak Leaf Clusters, and a Purple Heart for a gunshot wound during the Battle of the Bulge.

Born in Baltimore, he was a 1940 graduate of the Charlotte Hall Military Academy and attended the University of Maryland before entering the Army. He also attended the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, the former Bertha Agnes Placek; a daughter, Jacqueline Coan of Moscow, Idaho; two sisters, Olga Bell of Parkville and Nancy Nechay of Baltimore; a brother, Rudy Nechay of Boring; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday. William R. Smith, who had worked for the state, Baltimore and Baltimore County before he retired about 10 years ago, died May 25 of cancer at Sinai Hospital. He was 67 and lived in Ashburton.

Mr. Smith was a minority business enterprise officer in the county Department of Public Works when he retired. He went to work for the county in 1980 after two years as an investigator with the State Fire Marshal's office.

In 1950, he began working for the city, first as a social worker and then as superintendent of housing inspection, leaving in 1978.

Born in Glen Burnie, he was a 1944 graduate of Bates High School in Annapolis. He served in the Army during World War II and the Korean War.

He was a 1950 graduate of then-Morgan State College.

He was a member of several groups, including the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and the Prince Hall Masons.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, the former Carolyn L. Matthews; a daughter, Lorraine Smith of Gaithersburg; a son, Wendell Smith of Lochearn; three sisters, Myrtle Williams, Florence Drayton and Dorothy Smith, all of Baltimore; a brother, Charles Smith of Baltimore; and three grandsons.

Services were held yesterday.

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