Dr. Lewis V. Lortz, 81, dentist, musician Dr. Lewis V...

April 09, 2001

Dr. Lewis V. Lortz, 81, dentist, musician

Dr. Lewis V. Lortz Jr., a dentist who led a band while in college, died Thursday of colon cancer at Stella Maris Hospice. He would have turned 82 yesterday.

Dr. Lortz played the clarinet and saxophone and led a popular dance band, Lew Lortz and his Orchestra, while a Loyola College student in the late 1930s and early '40s. The group played weddings, dance halls and hotels in the Baltimore area.

A Baltimore native who attended City College, Dr. Lortz served in an Army band that toured the United States during World War II.

After the war, he attended the University of Maryland dental school. He served four years in the U.S. Public Health Service before opening a private practice in his Towson home in 1954. He retired in June because of failing health.

Dr. Lortz continued to enjoy and occasionally play music in his later years, "provided it was music of the '40s," said his wife of 56 years, the former Betty Black. "Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman - all those standards."

Dr. Lortz bought a second home in the Rumsey Island section of Joppatowne in 1972. That year, he joined the Coast Guard auxiliary and served for 20 years, helping with patrols and teaching boating safety.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit, 540 Joppa Farm Road, Joppa.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Lortz is survived by a daughter, Betty Lou Beck of Perry Hall; two sons, Louis Lortz of Perry Hall and Thomas Lortz of Havre de Grace; and five grandsons.

Michael Lee Curran, 51, audiovisual technician

Michael Lee Curran, a Baltimore native and avid motor-racing fan, died April 2 of massive heart failure at his home in Cockeysville. He was 51.

Mr. Curran grew up in Mount Washington. He was altar boy at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church and graduated from its school in 1964. Mr. Curran was a member of the first graduating class of Northern High School in 1968, where he played varsity football and lacrosse. He also took the lead acting role in many plays at Northern High and Church of the Redeemer.

As an undergraduate student from 1968 to 1971 at what is now Towson University, Curran was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement.

After leaving college, Mr. Curran was a director of adult day care for the Baltimore Association Retarded Citizens from 1971 to 1975. From there, he became personnel manager of Maryland Nut and Bolt in Baltimore, until it closed in 1980. He retired this year from Nelson C. White Co., where he worked for 20 years as an event audiovisual technician.

Mr. Curran was a devoted fan of Formula 1 Grand Prix and CART motor racing. He raced motorcycles in club competition in the early 1980s.

Family members said he had an encyclopedic knowledge of motor racing and was known as "Mr. Motorsports" to his racing friends. Mr. Curran, who had a quick wit, family members said, loved the Rolling Stones and was proud to have attended a concert during each of the group's tours since 1969.

His marriage to Janine Bradley ended in divorce in 1988.

He is survived by his wife of seven years, the former Janis Lee Hardwick of Cockeysville; and two stepdaughters, Sara Bagheri and Aria Bagheri, also of Cockeysville.

Services were held Saturday at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home on York Road.

James Nowell Jersild, 61, truck driver for Arundel

James Nowell Jersild, a truck driver for the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, died Wednesday of complications from cancer at his home in Brooklyn. He was 61.

Mr. Jersild had worked for Anne Arundel County for 14 years. He also repaired roads. He received several awards for his work for the county, family members said.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he was honorably discharged after three years of service as a Navy corpsman.

Mr. Jersild's hobbies included watching Western movies, especially those starring John Wayne, and working on his computer. He was a voracious reader and enjoyed taking courses. Subjects he could not get enough of, family members said, included computers, law, food and home remedies.

"He read about everything," said a daughter, Michelle Thomas of Pasadena. "Anything to learn. He just loved to learn. He was very versatile."

Of his hobbies, Mr. Jersild was most passionate about candle-making. He would make candles from scratch to decorate his home or give as gifts.

But his love of candle-making could not compare to his devotion to his wife of 23 years, the former Karin Bethke, who survives him, Ms. Thomas said.

"He's always taken extra-special care of her," she said. "It wasn't anything he did in particular. It was all the stuff he did all the time."

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery, 1080 Sunrise Beach Road.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Jersild is survived by another daughter, Pamela Henderson of Harrison, Maine; a brother, Arthur A. Jersild of Milwaukee; and a granddaughter.

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