William Guildea Moulton Sr., an avid golfer, world traveler and retired executive with the Peterson, Howell and Heather auto-leasing firm, died Thursday at the Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. He had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage six weeks earlier. He was 81.
Born and raised in Catonsville, Mr. Moulton graduated from Catonsville High School in 1937.
He then joined the Naval Reserves and was a member of the first naval unit in the country called to active duty in 1940. He served on several ships in the Pacific, and was aboard a ship in Tokyo Bay the day Japan surrendered. He received an honorable discharge after six years of service.
Mr. Moulton returned to Baltimore and in 1947 met Eileen Taylor on a blind date at the Greenspring Inn. They married three months later.
While working part-time at the Hamburger's men's clothing store on Charles Street, Mr. Moulton was approached by managers about modeling for their ads. The tall and handsome young man, who bore a striking resemblance to film star Robert Taylor, appeared in ads for Hamburger's and other businesses.
In 1955, he accepted a full-time job as a buyer in the automobile division of Peterson, Howell and Heather (now part of Cendant), beginning a long career with the Baltimore-based auto-leasing and fleet-management firm. He was tapped in 1968 to start the company's truck-leasing division and was a vice president of the firm when he retired in 1982.
"It was a real big deal for him for them to choose him to do that," said daughter Vicki Strittmater of White Marsh. "He just loved that company, and he loved cars. He used to bring home all kinds of new models of cars to try out."
Though not a college graduate, Mr. Moulton earned a master's degree in business administration in 1975 through Loyola College's Executive MBA Program.
After retirement, Mr. Moulton and his wife traveled extensively throughout Eastern and Western Europe as well as Egypt and Australia. He had a particular interest in the history and culture of the places they toured and took pleasure in researching each trip and presenting a detailed slide show to his family upon their return.
He enjoyed the beach and deep-sea fishing, model shipbuilding and clock making.
Mr. Moulton was a dedicated golfer and a 25-year member of the Baltimore Country Club. He served as a marshal during the LPGA tournament held at the club's Five Farms in 1988, walking up the final fairway with the eventual winner, Liselotte Neumann of Sweden. He also held the distinction of shooting a hole in one at the same course.
A communicant of St. Pius X Catholic Church for two decades, Mr. Moulton rarely missed a Monday morning session to help count the previous day's donations.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church on York Road.
In addition to his wife and his daughter Vicki of White Marsh, he is survived by two other children, Peggy Atkins of Cockeysville and William Moulton Jr. of Abingdon; five siblings, Harry H. Moulton of Clearwater, Fla., Iona Franke of Parkville, Mary Nagle of Blakehurst, Jane Saleone of Pittsburgh and Patricia Siegner of Houston; and four grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be sent to Stella Maris Hospice, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road., Timonium 21093.