Joseph B. Bullock, 86, manager at BGE

November 05, 2001|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Joseph B. Bullock, a designer and first plant manager of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power facility, died Tuesday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after a fall from a ladder while trimming a tree at his Catonsville home. He was 86.

"All the doctors wanted to know why he was up on a ladder at age 86, trimming a tree," said his son, Joseph W. Bullock of Marriottsville. "I told them because he could. ... He was that kind of man."

Born in South Baltimore, the senior Bullock was a highly respected and skilled mechanical engineer who spent his entire career - 45 years - with Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. In that time, he took only two weeks of sick time, his family said.

He graduated with honors from the "A" course at Polytechnic Institute and earned an academic scholarship to the Johns Hopkins University. He earned his degree in mechanical engineering in three years and continued his studies with graduate courses there.

He started his career with the utility in 1936 as a power plant testing assistant in the steam stations department. During World War II, Mr. Bullock served in the Army Reserves and was responsible for maintaining power and other utilities in Washington, D.C., and surrounding states.

Rising through the ranks at BGE, Mr. Bullock became chief engineer in 1949. He was promoted to be the first manager of the then-new Wagner power plant along the Patapsco River, and he helped plan and design the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant, which was brought on line in Southern Maryland in 1973.

He was named the first manager at Calvert Cliffs and a year later became manager of electric production for BGE, overseeing operations for all the company's generating plants.

George V. McGowan, former chairman and chief executive officer of BGE, recalled that Mr. Bullock's opinion and judgment were sought and respected. "With his many decades of power plant design experience, he knew power plants inside and out and was the best operations manager I've ever known," Mr. McGowan said.

Christian H. Poindexter, chairman of Constellation Energy Group, BGE's parent company, was hired by Mr. Bullock in 1967. "Throughout the years of working with Joe, I was always impressed with his power plant knowledge and the ability to get to the heart of the matter," Mr. Poindexter said.

In addition to his home in Catonsville, Mr. Bullock had a waterfront home in Annapolis where he docked his powerboat. As recently as last year, he taught water safety courses for the Patapsco River Power Squadron.

He was a member of the Loyal Order of Masons, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Professional Engineering Society of Maryland.

Services were held Friday.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 59 years, the former Ruth H. Huettel; a sister, Evelyn B. Nowell of Annapolis; and two grandsons.

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