R. McLean Campbell, 73, key figure in White Marsh development LTC

October 03, 1998|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

R. McLean Campbell, who as president and chief executive officer of Nottingham Properties was instrumental in developing White Marsh, died Thursday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center of a stroke. He was 73.

A former longtime Towson resident, he had resided at the Blakehurst Life Care Community since 1993.

Mr. Campbell was born and raised in Towson. He was named for his maternal great-grandparents, Wilmer and Virginia McLean, the couple whose front parlor at Appomattox Court House, Va., was the site of Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, to end the Civil War.

A 1942 Gilman School graduate, he earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1948.

Mr. Campbell, who headed Nottingham Properties from 1968 until he retired in 1981, initially had planned to pursue a literary career.

But after working as an editor for William Morrow & Co. in New York, he returned to Baltimore and worked as a salesman for Sakrete Products, a division of the Harry T. Campbell & Sons' Co.

He was a third-generation member of the Campbell family to be associated with the company. From 1961 to 1964, he was president of Sakrete, which was later sold and became a division of the Flinkote Co. in New York.

He was vice president of finance and treasurer of Flinkote in New York from 1964 to 1968, when he again returned to Baltimore from New York and joined Nottingham Properties Inc., which was also family-owned.

He began plans to develop a former 2,000-acre sand and gravel pit in White Marsh that became Baltimore County's first planned community of houses, stores, offices, industrial sites and

recreation facilities, along White Marsh Boulevard and Interstate 95. McLean Ridge, an office complex in the community, was named for him.

"He had strong insight both practical and financial that made the founding of White Marsh possible," said Doug Dollenberg, Mr. Campbell's successor.

"He brought strong leadership to the project and helped establish Nottingham in the development community."

Relatives said Mr. Campbell was proud to help the National Park Service restore the historic McLean home at Appomattox Court House, which has been depicted in several paintings of Lee's surrender.

"He returned to the house the two vases on the mantel that are depicted in the paintings and were in the house the day of the surrender," said a daughter, Virginia T. Campbell of Timonium. "He took a lot of pleasure in that."

Mr. Campbell, known for his colorful sport coats and sweaters, was active in civic affairs and had an interest in Thoroughbred racing.

He was a co-owner of Falls Ridge Stable and in 1982 was appointed to the Maryland Harness Racing Commission by Gov. Harry R. Hughes.

He served on the board of the Baltimore Museum of Art and as a trustee of the Peabody Institute, Morgan State University, Franklin Square Hospital Center, Gilman School and the Children's Aid Society of Baltimore. He had been a director of the old Equitable Trust Co.

His 1949 marriage to the former Charlton Gillet Friedberg ended in divorce.

A memorial service will be held at 5: 30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave. in Towson.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Gregg T. Campbell of Boulder, Colo; another daughter, Charlton T. Hughes of Ruxton; a brother, William B. Campbell of Federal Hill; and three granddaughters.

Pub Date: 10/03/98

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