Donald F. House Sr., 72, electrician for Beth Steel, won golf tournaments

January 18, 2002|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Donald F. House Sr., a retired electrician who taught himself golf and went on to win tournaments, died Monday of a brain hemorrhage at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 72 and lived in Jarrettsville.

He spent 30 years at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant, working as an electrician, welder and maintenance worker before retiring in 1978.

A former president of the Baltimore County Golf Association, Mr. House played the game for many years.

"He scored in the low 70s and was a fine player, polite - he always got the job done," said John Lazzell, former golf pro at Rocky Point Golf Course in Essex. "He was popular because he was such a friendly guy, always there to help you."

Bob Hedrick, professional at Winters Run Golf Club in Bel Air, said Mr. House "was a quiet gentleman who let his game do the talking. ... He went along and played golf and wouldn't draw attention to himself or to his successes."

Born in Baltimore and raised on 30th Street in Waverly, Mr. House attended Clifton Park Junior High School, Maryland Institute College of Art and Essex Community College, where he studied real estate. He earned a high school equivalency diploma.

In 1948, he married Betty L. Wolfe, a former Stewart & Co. and Hutzler's sales associate.

Family members said he started golfing in the early 1950s. During those days, he and a few friends spent Saturday mornings hacking around Northeast Baltimore's Clifton Park Golf Course. At the time, Mr. House did not own a car and walked to the first tee.

He discovered he was good at the game - without taking a lesson. He would practice in his back yard and putt in his living room. He used a metal coaster to approximate a cup on a green.

Mr. House won many local tournaments and won the men's association championship at Rocky Point Golf Course in 1974, 1975 and 1977. He also was an officer of the course. In the mid-1970s, he was club champion at Clifton Park. He took the Match Play Club Championship at Winters Run in 1979.

After retiring from Bethlehem Steel, Mr. House became a sales agent for O'Conor, Piper & Flynn and sold homes in Fallston and Bel Air for three years. Using his art school training, he then began making sand-blasted and carved-wood signs for dentists, physicians, lawyers and florists along Main Street in Bel Air. He gave up the business about five years ago because of bad health. He also made much of the antique-style furniture in his home.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today at West Liberty United Methodist Church, West Liberty Road, White Hall.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Donald F. House Jr. of Monkton and David A. House of Parkville; a daughter, Stephanie House Russell of White Hall; and three grandchildren.

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