Adrian LeRoy McCardell Jr., 94, First National Bank of Md. chairman

August 12, 2002|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Adrian LeRoy McCardell Jr., retired president and chairman of the former First National Bank of Maryland, died of cancer Saturday at his home in the Poplar Hill neighborhood of North Baltimore. He was 94.

He was a leader in Baltimore's banking community during the 1960s and 1970s, when area financial institutions sought to open more branches and consumer credit card use rose, and he helped guide the bank in those areas.

He joined First National in 1958, and became president in 1961 and chairman in 1968. He retired in 1973, but until last fall regularly went to his office at what by then had become part of Allfirst Bank.

"He was a fine man. He had wonderful instincts and he was extremely dedicated to the banking profession," said Owen Daly II, who was president and chairman of the old Equitable Trust Co. when Mr. McCardell was First National's chairman.

Mr. Daly said his banking colleague was a good listener, ready to hear out and consider the ideas of people who worked for him, which led to successful ventures.

The two banks, along with Suburban Trust Co. in the Washington suburbs, set up one of the region's first joint operation centers in the late 1960s to process credit card transactions, even as they battled for customers, he said. "It was quite unusual," he said, adding that Mr. McCardell was "instrumental in setting that up."

"He was what I could call a good, solid banker. He loved the industry. He loved everything about it and he was good at it," Mr. Daly said.

"If Mac told you something, you could book it," said Edgar M. Boyd, a former managing partner at the brokerage firm of what is now Ferris Baker Watts.

A Frederick native, Mr. McCardell began his career working briefly as a clerk at Frederick County National Bank, where his father was president, after graduating from Washington & Lee University in 1929 and earning a master of business administration degree from Harvard University in 1931.

He became a state and national bank examiner later that year.

After serving as a Navy lieutenant commander during World War II, Mr. McCardell became a vice president at Seaboard-Citizens National Bank in Norfolk, Va. He left after a decade to become vice president of Charleston National Bank in West Virginia.

He held many civic positions in the Norfolk and Charleston areas, and continued his community and professional involvement in Baltimore.

He had been a director of United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., First Maryland Bancorp., the Committee for Downtown and the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce. He was president of the Baltimore Clearing House, treasurer of the Baltimore Region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, treasurer of the Loyola-Notre Dame Library, and served on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Council for Economic Education in Maryland, and Keswick Home.

He served on the vestry of the Church of the Redeemer.

His memberships included Sons of the American Revolution, the Elkridge Club and Bachelors Cotillon. In 1983, he received a distinguished alumnus award from Washington & Lee.

"He loved tennis with a passion," said his daughter, Katharine McCardell Webb of Richmond, Va. "His life was tennis, church, work and family."

His tennis championships ranged from 1929 in Frederick, to 1998 when he was a national champion of an over-90 doubles tournament held in Orlando, Fla.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Phyllis K. Green; a son, Adrian L. McCardell III of Reston, Va.; two brothers, Robert McCardell of Frederick and Max McCardell of Hagerstown; and three grandchildren. A sister, noted fashion designer Claire McCardell, died in 1958.

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