H. Norman Baetjer Jr., a retired building supply executive and bank director, died of heart failure Monday at the Copper Ridge nursing home in Sykesville. He was 85 and lived in Stevenson.
He retired about 30 years ago as president of Monumental Brick and Supply Co., on Garrison Boulevard in Baltimore. He had also been a director of Mount Vernon Mills, a Hampden canvas and cotton duck textile operation.
Named to the Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co.'s board in 1958, he was also a founding director of Mercantile Bankshares. He retired from both posts in 1986.
"He was an extraordinary director and counselor. His advice was very valuable because it was given with the understanding of his responsibilities," said H. Furlong Baldwin, retired Mercantile president. "He was a wonderfully decent man."
Born in Baltimore and raised in Green Spring Valley, Mr. Baetjer was a 1935 graduate of Gilman School, where he was captain of the football and track teams. In his senior year, he broke the Maryland Scholastic Association's record for the 220-yard dash. He attended the Johns Hopkins University, where he was also the football team's captain.
"He was highly respected for his character. He was a quiet, soft-spoken, thoughtful person," said Dawson Farber, a Gilman classmate and friend. "We elected him vice president of our class."
On April 3, 1937, he rode the horse Miss Superior to victory in the Junior Point-to-Point, a race partially held on the Maryland Hunt Cup course.
After World War II service as an Army captain in the Pacific, he became a Gilman School trustee and treasurer. Friends recalled he was interested in fostering racial integration and diversity within the school. He was also a trustee of St. Timothy's School and Kernan Hospital.
He was a former president and member of Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, where he played in numerous golf tournaments.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at St. John's Episcopal Church, 3738 Butler Road, Glyndon.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Jeanne Catherine Hook; two sons, Harry N. Baetjer III of Unionville, Pa., and George Hook Baetjer of Lake Oswego, Ore.; a daughter, Katharine Baetjer Pilgrim of Brooklandville; and five grandchildren.