Leonard Engel, 93, president of Provident bank

May 23, 1998|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Leonard Otto Engel was a 15-year-old newsboy when he answered an advertisement for a job as "assistant to the receiving clerk" at Provident Savings Bank. It was the beginning of a career of half a century in which he rose to become the bank's president.

Mr. Engel, who was 93, died in his sleep May 16 at Manor Care Ruxton nursing home. He was a former resident of Towson and Cockeysville.

His daughter, Jayne E. Barko of Baldwin, told how Mr. Engel sought his first position at Provident in 1920: "He was wearing knickers when he applied to Charles Duke, the bank's president. He told Dad, 'Here's $15; go buy yourself a pair of long pants.' He got a new job and his first pair of long pants that day."

By 1926, Mr. Engel was manager of the bank's school savings department. He then headed two branches. He was promoted to auditor in 1940.

The next year, he was elected assistant treasurer and was later named treasurer. He became executive vice president in 1960, a board member in 1962 and president in 1966. He retired in 1970.

"He ate up the banking business. He just loved it and seemingly had a natural ability for it," said Mrs. Barko. "He was a whiz-bang with numbers and could add up a column of figures 10 wide and 10 deep faster than an adding machine."

Mr. Engel's acumen with numbers led to the arrest and conviction of an embezzler.

"He noticed something was wrong -- things didn't add up -- and he was able to discover who was doing the embezzling," Mrs. Barko said.

"He was proud of the fact that when he was president, the bank's year-end statement was never, never even a penny off," she said.

A gregarious man with a large circle of acquaintances that included depositors, Mr. Engel seldom traveled without bumping into someone he knew.

"We were out West touring an Indian reservation when someone shouted out his name. Another time, strolling the streets of Paris, a man called out, 'Hey, Leonard,' " Mrs. Barko said.

Born in East Baltimore and raised in Lauraville, Mr. Engel graduated from City College and the American Institute of Banking.

He was treasurer for many years of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland and Towson Presbyterian Church.

His wife of 60 years, the former Ruth Ware, died in 1990.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. June 13 in the chapel of Towson Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Chesapeake Ave.

Richard L. Harvey, 95, B&O railroad official

Richard L. Harvey, retired director of labor relations for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, died in his sleep Sunday at the Charlestown Retirement Community. He was 95.

The Irvington native attended city schools and graduated from Strayer Business College.

He joined the B&O as a stenographer in 1923 and was named manager of labor relations in 1948 and director in 1961. He was responsible for negotiating contracts with 27 labor unions and was a member of presidential boards that helped settle rail strikes in the 1950s and 1960s.

The former Sherwood Forest resident retired in 1967 and moved to Venice, Fla. He moved to Charlestown in 1988.

His wife, the former Reba Keen, whom he married in 1920, died in 1988. A daughter, Verna L. Pearthree, died in 1983.

A memorial service was held yesterday at Charlestown.

He is survived by a son, Richard L. Harvey Jr. of Bel Air; a daughter, Robyn K. Jones of Sherwood Forest; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Julia B. Manchester, 75, Evening Sun reporter, potter

Julia B. Manchester, a former Evening Sun reporter and Roland Park resident, died of a heart attack May 16 at a hospital in Middletown, Conn. She was 75.

The wife of author William Manchester, the former Julia Brown Marshall was the daughter of Dr. E. Kennerly Marshall Jr., an internationally known Johns Hopkins Medical School professor of pharmacology and expert on sulfa and anti-malarial drugs.

She was raised in Roland Park, graduating in 1939 from Roland Park Country School, and earned her bachelor's degree in 1943 from Wellesley College.

She worked for the newspaper until 1955, when her husband became professor of history and writer-in-residence at Wesleyan University and they moved to Middletown.

A potter, she was an active member of the Wesleyan Potters, where she earned a reputation for creating whimsical pieces.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. May 31 at Wesleyan University Chapel in Middletown.

Surviving, in addition to her husband, are a son, John K. Manchester of Conway, Mass; two daughters, Julia Manchester Winters of Bradenton, Fla., and Dr. Laurie Manchester of Cambridge, Mass.; a brother, Dr. Richard K. Marshall of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

Pub Date: 5/23/98

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