William Weiss, opened several family businessesWilliam...

August 27, 1999

William Weiss, opened several family businesses

William Weiss, a retired businessman and a yachtsman, died Tuesday of heart failure at his Guilford home. He was 88.

In the early 1930s, he and his three brothers began repairing and selling used cars. By the end of the decade, they had established Weiss Motor Co., with four Ford dealerships in Baltimore, one in Bethlehem, Pa., and another in Portland, Maine.

According to family members, Weiss Motor Co. was the largest Ford dealership in the world during the 1950s. In 1961, the brothers left the automotive business and established Paramount Insurance Co.

Also during the 1960s, they founded Lumber Terminals, located at Dundalk Marine Terminal, which handled all lumber arriving by ship in the Port of Baltimore. The family sold the firm in the 1980s.

Born in Ashley, N.D., Mr. Weiss came to Baltimore as a youth. He attended city schools until leaving to help support his family. During World War II, he was a Coast Guard chief petty officer on Chesapeake Bay patrol vessels.

He was active in philanthropic organizations and had served as treasurer of South Baltimore General Hospital, now Harbor Hospital Center.

An avid yachtsman, he enjoyed sailing between Baltimore and Palm Beach, Fla., aboard his 86-foot motor yacht, the Panacea IV.

Services were held yesterday.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Ruth Puder; two daughters, Nancy Weiss Malkiel of Princeton, N.J., and Barbara Sonneborn of Boca Raton, Fla.; a brother, Abraham Weiss, and a sister, Rose Honkofsky, both of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.

Pub Date: 8/27/99

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