Samuel R. Wells Jr., 74, downtown developer Samuel...

January 12, 2002

Samuel R. Wells Jr., 74, downtown developer

Samuel Robert Wells Jr., who developed downtown Baltimore office buildings, died Thursday of heart failure at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. He was 74 and lived in Towson.

Mr. Wells joined the American Trading and Production Corp. in 1962 and rose to become president of its subsidiary, American Trading Real Estate Properties, in 1984.

He worked on the development of two 1960s downtown landmarks -- the Blaustein Building at the southeast corner of Charles and Fayette streets and the W.R. Grace Building at the northeast corner of Baltimore and Charles streets. Both were built on the site of the old Hub department store, which was demolished under Wells' supervision.

He also oversaw the building of the Los Angeles Wilshire I & II and Wilshire-Bixel office buildings, San Diego's 22-story Union Bank, the Norwalk Mall in Norwalk, Conn., Rockville Research I and II office buildings in Rockville and the Hamlet West apartments in Woodlawn. He retired in 1992.

As a young man, Mr. Wells worked in real estate and sales for Pan American Airlines and the Cannon Shoe Co.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Hagerstown, he graduated from Fishburne Military Academy in Waynesboro, Va., and Dartmouth College.

He served as an Army medic during the 1940s and was stationed in the South Pacific and Japan.

He spent his summers at Stone Harbor, N.J., and was a member of the American Legion, the Country Club of Maryland and the Maryland Club.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road, Rodgers Forge.

Mr. Wells is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, the former Yvonne Beachley; two sons, Samuel Robert Wells III and David B. Wells; a sister, Suzanne Wells Mitchell, all of Baltimore; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Mildred A. Gipe, 99, part of flag celebration

Mildred A. Gipe, who participated in the original Human Flag celebration at Fort McHenry in 1914, died Monday of respiratory failure at Genesis Cromwell Center. She was 99.

Born and raised Mildred A. Gorsuch in Baltimore, she graduated from city public schools.

Mrs. Gipe was a part of the celebration that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

Beginning in the 1940s, Mrs. Gipe worked on the assembly line at Black & Decker's Towson plant. She retired in 1980.

Her marriage to James L. Askey ended in divorce. In 1951, she married George Gipe, a Bendix security guard. He died in 1980.

Mrs. Gipe was a member of the Christian Science Church. Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Mrs. Gipe is survived by her son, C. Kenneth Askey of Cub Hill; a grandson; and two great-grandchildren.

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