Leo A. Soltysiak, 97, once bat boy for RuthLeo A...

August 17, 1996

Leo A. Soltysiak, 97, once bat boy for Ruth

Leo A. Soltysiak, a retired Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employee who in his youth once was Babe Ruth's bat boy, died Wednesday of an aneurysm at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 97 and lived in Towson.

Mr. Soltysiak retired in 1964 from BGE, where he worked 40 years as a building and construction department employee.

A vigorous man, he spent last Saturday fishing with family members at his favorite location in Chincoteague, Va., and attending a picnic with the BGE Anglers Club.

He was born and raised in Fells Point though he lived for a short time in Savannah, Ga., where his father established a canning plant. Mr. Soltysiak loved to regale his family with memories of the Great Baltimore Fire. His family packed its belongings in a cart in case the fire crossed the Jones Falls, but that's where the fire stopped, he said.

Perhaps his greatest story, which he related last month while touring the Babe Ruth Museum, concerned spending the day as the Babe's bat boy when Ruth returned to St. Mary's Industrial School in 1914 for a game after his first year as a big leaguer.

Jim Kelly, who played semi-professional baseball and was Mr. Soltysiak's mentor, struck Ruth out.

"Ruth put his arms around Kelly and promised to help him to

pitch in the big leagues," said a son, Dr. Leonard T. Saltysiak.

Another favorite baseball story was seeing Walter Johnson, a Washington Senators pitcher who would become a Hall-of-Famer, being beaten in the 11th inning by a Ruth home run during a 1917 game.

Mr. Soltysiak and the former Agnes Grzececzka were married for 56 years. She died in 1978.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9 a.m. today at Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, 8501 Loch Raven Blvd., Baynesville, where Mr. Soltysiak was an active communicant.

He is survived by two other sons, Francis L. Saltysiak of Randallstown and Louis S. Soltysiak; a daughter, Mary Agnes Boratenski of Parkville; 22 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren.

Frank Collins Shaw, 93, pharmacist's assistant

Frank Collins Shaw, a retired pharmacist's assistant who at age 82 earned his high-school equivalency diploma, died Tuesday at his home in Marietta, Ga., of kidney failure. He was 93.

Mr. Shaw worked in South Baltimore General Hospital's pharmacy from 1966 until retirement in 1985. Earlier, he had worked at two pharmacies in the Hamilton area.

Mr. Shaw first worked as a locomotive mechanic on the Canadian Grand Trunk Western Railroad. He then was a strawberry farmer in Florida before moving to Hagerstown in the late 1920s to work at a dairy making ice cream.

Mr. Shaw had attended school only until he was 11. For years, family members said, he had wanted to receive his high school-diploma.

He enrolled in the high school equivalency course in the fall of 1984, attending class twice a week, three hours a night. In February 1985 he passed his examination and received his computer-printed diploma in the mail a month later from the Community College of Baltimore.

At the time, school officials said they believed he was the oldest student ever to have earned a high-school diploma in Baltimore.

Mr. Shaw was born in London, England, and raised in London, Ontario. In 1950, he and the former June Heinritz married. They lived in Bel Air until 1989, when they moved to Marietta, home of their daughter, Charlotte Grogan, and her family.

Memorial services will be held at 4 p.m. today in Marietta.

Other survivors include two brothers, Douglas Shaw of Sarnia, Ontario, and Donald Shaw of London, Ontario; and a grandson.

Donald Wheeler Wyatt, 90, a Baltimore-born educator, former Fulbright Scholar and expert on African affairs, died July 30 of pneumonia in Winter Park, Fla., his home since 1986.

Mr. Wyatt, who grew up on Druid Hill Avenue and, in 1924, graduated from Douglass High School, began his career with the Urban League in Philadelphia in 1930 and later was associated with the Red Cross, the World Affairs Center in New York and was field director for 22 years for the African-American Institute.

He had degrees from Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a Fulbright Scholar in 1950 and 1958. He (( was a visiting professor at North Carolina, Fisk and Lincoln universities. He retired in the late 1970s.

Services were held Aug. 3 in Petersburg, Va.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, the former Marian Gandy; a grandson; and several nieces and nephews. His daughter, Linda Gandy Wyatt Chissell, died in 1978.

George Andrew Kolstad, 76, who managed federal nuclear physics, applied mathematics and geosciences research, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital on Aug. 7 of complications from surgery to treat a blood clot in his heart.

The resident of Laytonsville, Montgomery County, played a key role in research and development on nuclear energy at the Atomic Energy Commission before he retired in 1990. He began rTC working on physics and mathematics programs in the commission's research division in 1950.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Christine Stillman Kolstad; a daughter; two sons; three brothers; a sister; and four grandchildren.

Pub Date: 8/17/96

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