Merrill L. Bank, 85, Maryland Cup executive Merrill L...

April 21, 2000

Merrill L. Bank, 85, Maryland Cup executive

Merrill L. Bank, a philanthropist and former president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Maryland Cup Corp., died Sunday of a heart attack at Columbia Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 85.

The former longtime Northwest Baltimore resident had lived in Palm Beach since 1982.

He joined Maryland Cup Corp. in 1934 and held a variety of posts with the Owings Mills company, which was founded by his wife's family in 1911. He retired in 1983.

Active in civic and business affairs in Baltimore, Mr. Bank and his family pledged $750,000 to the National Aquarium in 1987 for the construction of the marine mammal pavilion, which bears their name.

He was formerly on the boards of Union Trust Co., Key Foods Inc. of Baltimore, Sinai Hospital, Hygienic Drinking Straw Co., Strike Rite Matches and the Shapiro Brothers Charitable Foundation.

He had also been a member of Woodholme Country Club and Beth Jacob and Baltimore Hebrew congregations.

In Palm Beach, he had been a director of the Palm Beach Association and the Palm Beach Community Chest/United Way, and was past chairman of the Israel Bonds Campaign. He was a patron member of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and a board member of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

He was a past president and member of the Palm Beach Country Club and a member of the advisory board of the Intracostal Health System.

Mr. Bank was born in Northwest Baltimore and graduated from City College. He enjoyed fishing, golfing and tennis.

A daughter, Marjorie Lynn Bank, died in 1994.

Private services were held Wednesday.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, the former Helen Shapiro; a son, Herbert Bank of Owings Mills; a daughter, Penny Bank of Roland Park; and four grandchildren.

Willie McCray, 76, Baltimore police sergeant

Willie McCray, a retired Baltimore police sergeant who raised 19 foster children, died Tuesday of kidney failure at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 76 and lived on Argonne Drive in Northwood.

Beginning in 1958, he and his wife opened their Northeast Baltimore home to foster children, some of whom they adopted. The couple had three other children.

In 1982, the McCrays received a silver plate engraved with the federal eagle from U.S. Rep. Parren J. Mitchell, a Baltimore Democrat, for their years of service.

The couple represented the state of Maryland at the 1970 National Conference of Foster Parents.

Mr. McCray joined the Police Department in the 1950s and was assigned to foot patrol in the Northeastern District. In the 1960s, when he was promoted to sergeant, he spoke out against racial discrimination in the department, drawing criticism. He left the police force in 1967 and sold men's clothing at the Sam Glass store in Oldtown. He retired about five years ago.

Born in Petersburg, Va., he attended public schools there and the University of Maryland.

In 1943, he married Helen Bland, who died in 1996.

He was a member of All Saints Lutheran Church, Loch Raven Boulevard and Havenwood Road, where funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. Monday .

He is survived by four sons, Willie McCray Jr., James A. McCray and Andre McCray, all of Baltimore, and Maurice Gatling of Los Angeles; six daughters, Norma Petway of Kansas City, Mo., Donna Carter of Washington, and Gwendolyn Tyson, Alice Rose, Wilma McNeil and Darnella Rose, all of Baltimore; a companion, Mabel McNeil of Baltimore; 16 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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