Jeffries, 67, business professor

R. J.

September 19, 1997|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Richard John Jeffries, a University of Baltimore and Catonsville Community College business professor and a sports car aficionado who owned many two-seaters over the years, died Sunday of Alzheimer's disease at St. Agnes Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ellicott City.

Mr. Jeffries, 67, a longtime Ellicott City resident, taught many business and marketing classes at both schools from the mid-1970s until the mid-1980s.

"He made even the most boring of topics seem interesting," said Kendall Myers, a former student at Catonsville Community College. "You liked to listen to him and knew that he knew what he was talking about."

Mr. Jeffries often used personal experiences as he taught business management, personnel, marketing and advertising classes.

"He didn't teach totally from a book, but from first-hand experience -- like someone who had a good grasp of the business world and knew how to convey what he had been through," Mr. Myers said.

Mr. Jeffries, a native of New York, graduated from Syracuse University in 1952 and earned a master's degree from the University of Baltimore in 1979. He served in the Navy from 1952 to 1956 and from 1962 to 1964.

Mr. Jeffries began his career working for Volvo Inc. of America in 1965 at the company's New Jersey offices. He moved to Maryland in 1972. He retired from Volvo in 1976 and began teaching full time.

"He just loved teaching; that's why he decided to leave the lucrative business world and become a teacher," said his wife, the former Joan E. Dresser, whom he married in 1953.

Health problems forced him to retire in 1985.

One of Mr. Jeffries' passions outside of the classroom was owning, driving and refurbishing sports cars, relatives said.

Over the years, he owned Austin Healeys, Porsches, an MG, an Alpine and a jazzy Volvo. While he lived briefly in Kingsville, Texas, he often raced cars at local tracks.

"He was always working on his cars," said his son, Scott R. Jeffries of Ellicott City. "His first one that I remember was a semisports car -- a 544 Volvo round back that was very nice. He had a lot of interest in cars and was a good mechanic."

Mr. Jeffries was a member of the Barbershop Singers of America, several automobile clubs and the Roman Catholic Church of the Resurrection, at Paulskirk Drive and Chatham Road in Ellicott City, where a memorial service is planned for noon today.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by two daughters, Lee K. Normington of Omaha, Neb., and Betsy A. Jeffries of Ellicott City; two brothers, Bruce Jeffries of Zephyrhills, Fla., and Hugh L. Jeffries of Burbank, Calif.; and two grandchildren.

Pub Date: 9/19/97

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