Richard H. Kent, a retired Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. civil engineer and a master woodworker, died of cancer Saturday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. He was 81.
Mr. Kent, a longtime Ruxton resident, moved to the Oak Crest Village retirement community in Parkville in 1997.
His BGE career, which began in 1948, included helping design the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Southern Maryland. Mr. Kent was manager of BGE's civil engineering department when he retired in 1985, after 37 years with the company.
Born in Baltimore and raised in the Pimlico area, he was a 1939 graduate of Polytechnic Institute. He attended the University of Maryland from 1939 to 1942, when he enlisted in the Army Air Forces.
Mr. Kent was a maintenance officer with the 9th Air Force in England and Germany, and was a captain when he was discharged in 1945. He returned to the university, earning a civil engineering degree in 1947. He earned a second bachelor's degree in business from the Johns Hopkins University in 1951.
His professional memberships included the American Society of Civil Engineers and Tau Beta Pi association.
Mr. Kent spent many hours of his retirement working in his basement workshop, producing for family and friends finely crafted pieces of furniture. He often purchased rough-hewn cherry and walnut lumber from Amish farmers in Pennsylvania to fashion armoires, tables, chairs, highboys, corner closets and other pieces.
His work was distinguished by dovetail joints, decorative inlay and fine, hand-rubbed finishes.
He had served as chairman of the Residents' Advisory Council at Oak Crest Village and was a member of the retirement community's church council, golf club and woodworking club.
In 1975, he was president of the Parents' Association of St. Paul's School for Girls. He was also a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Lutherville.
In 1950, he married Vera A. Ekland, who died in 1997.
He is survived by two daughters, Eleanor A. Kent of Cockeysville and Barbara K. Karol of Millers, Carroll County.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the chapel at Oak Crest Village, 8810 Walther Blvd.