James L. Larduskey Jr., 79, museum curator

November 25, 1997|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

James L. Larduskey Jr., a utility official and curator of the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, died of heart failure Friday on his 79th birthday.

A Roland Park resident, Mr. Larduskey retired as chief of traffic and expediting for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. in 1971. He joined the utility's electrical testing department in 1948.

His infatuation with streetcars began as a youngster, when he rode the various routes, exploring the city, according to family members.

A member of the Baltimore Streetcar Museum since 1970, and holder of badge No. 278, Mr. Larduskey had been a former board member, motorman and conductor and, at the time of his death, was the museum's curator.

"He had the energy of 10 people," Andy Blumberg, the museum's director of public relations, said yesterday. "He was in charge of the Wednesday crew which gave special tours as well as speaking about the museum throughout the community and getting the horse car ready for the Mayor's Parade each year."

Said Harry Gesser, also a longtime museum member, "He was very thorough and efficient and made sure things were done correctly. Safety was always his highest priority."

"His service to the [museum] meant a lot he was always a very calming influence. You name it and he had done it at the museum," said Warren Olt, another member.

Mr. Larduskey also was an active member and former honorary commodore of the Baltimore Yacht Club, where he enjoyed cruising aboard the Golden One, his twin-engine Chris Craft motorcruiser.

Born and raised in Govans, he was a 1935 graduate of Baltimore City College and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps and was an instructor for pilots of B-25 Mitchell bombers at an air base in La Junta, Colo. He was discharged in 1945 with the rank of captain.

He was a member of the Air Force Reserve and was discharged as a lieutenant colonel in the 1960s.

He was also a member of the Baltimore chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society.

For 70 years he was a member of St. David's Episcopal Church, 4700 Roland Ave., where services will be held at 11 a.m. today. He also served the church as warden, vestryman and lay reader.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Ruth Luck; two sons, James L. Larduskey III of Pensacola, Fla., and William G. Larduskey of Baltimore; and a granddaughter.

Pub Date: 11/25/97

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