Holden Gibbs, 65, Mercantile bank executive

W. H.

November 10, 1997|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

W. H. Holden Gibbs, a vice president for liability management at Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co. who contributed much of his time to civic causes, died of cancer Friday at his home in Sparks. He was 65.

A popular figure the state's banking community, he served on the William T. Walters Board of the Walters Art Gallery, and the board of Planned Parenthood and was treasurer of the American Society of Oriental Research.

He was treasurer of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and served on the board of the Episcopal Ministries to the Aging.

"Holden brought much more than his financial expertise," said the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Ihloff, bishop of Maryland.

"Best of all, he gave constant personal support to the business office staff and volunteers who served on the financial ministry committees," said Bishop Ihloff.

Mr. Gibbs was a native of Baltimore. He graduated from Gilman (( School and received a bachelor of arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania. He received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Virginia.

From 1957 to 1960, he was an Army officer at Fort Jackson, S.C.

He joined the training program of Mercantile and later worked for Union Trust Bank as corporate planning director. He left Union Trust before his appointment to the Maryland banking commissioner's position in 1978.

Mr. Gibbs stepped down as commissioner in 1980 after a controversy over a bank charter. Mr. Gibbs, appointed by acting Gov. Blair Lee III, denied any wrongdoing and was not prosecuted.

He then rejoined Mercantile.

"He had great intellectual curiosity and had a wonderful habit of challenging the status quo as far as getting something done," said H. Furlong Baldwin, chairman and chief executive officer of Mercantile Bankshares Corp.

One of Mr. Gibbs' hallmarks was that he usually answered his own telephone, and said, "Holden Gibbs, may I help you?"

Nicknamed "Jumbo" for his considerable physical size in high school, Mr. Gibbs was an avid traveler and enjoyed fly fishing and hunting, especially in the Adirondack Mountains.

Lifelong friend and fellow fisherman R. L. Rich of Annapolis said, "Holden will be remembered with affection by his companions on these trips for his supervision of the serious fishermen, his fireside conversations and his zealous efforts to maintain a tidy camp."

Services will be private.

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Ellen Bruce Bordley; two daughters, Ellen Bruce Lewis of Medfield, Mass., and Anne Holden Bartlett of Butler; and three grandchildren.

Pub Date: 11/10/97

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