Robert Wilson Dorsey, 71, Edgewood Arsenal chemist

July 21, 1999|By Gary Dorsey | Gary Dorsey,SUN STAFF

Robert Wilson Dorsey, a longtime chemist at the Army's Edgewood Arsenal, died July 12 of a heart ailment at Sinai Hospital. He was 71 and lived in Woodmoor.

Mr. Dorsey began his career as a chemist in 1954 after a stint with the Army's Guided Missile Corps in Texas. He took jobs with the National Bureau of Standards and the Montebello Filtration Plant in Baltimore before finding his niche as a research scientist at Edgewood Arsenal in Harford County.

During his career at Edgewood, he developed a reputation for his work on projects related to chemical warfare and earned three patents for his inventions.

Because of his expertise with chemical warfare agents, he returned to Edgewood after his retirement in 1990 as a contractor to train young research scientists in the work he had done for nearly four decades.

After suffering a heart attack in 1992, he retired fully and devoted his time to church and family.

Born in Jones in Anne Arundel County, Mr. Dorsey was the youngest of seven children. He graduated as valedictorian from Bates High School in Annapolis in 1946 and went on to earn a degree in chemistry from then-Morgan State College in Baltimore.

He enjoyed church work and served as a trustee and deacon of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Baltimore, where services were held Saturday.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Lavinia Gloria Stewart; two daughters, Linda Walker of Randallstown and Cynthia Dorsey of Virginia Beach, Va.; two sons, Keith Dorsey and Kevin Allen Dorsey, both of Pikesville; a sister, Cora Jenning of Severna Park; and five grandchildren.

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