K. Aubrey Gorman, 78, Rouse executive

August 30, 2002|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

K. Aubrey Gorman, a Rouse Co. executive who later headed a business arm of the Enterprise Foundation, died Monday of a respiratory ailment at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Maine. He was 78 and once lived in Baltimore's Guilford neighborhood.

As the Columbia-based company's senior vice president for development, he helped change how people shopped in the 1950s and 1960s. He directed the land acquisition and construction for numerous enclosed shopping malls, including the original Harundale in Glen Burnie, the Village of Cross Keys in North Baltimore, Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Perimeter in Atlanta.

After retiring from Rouse in 1981, he became president and chief operating officer for five years of the Enterprise Development Co., the for-profit development arm of developer James Rouse's Enterprise Foundation.

Born in Baltimore - a nephew of the late poet Ogden Nash and Sen. Arthur Pue Gorman - Mr. Gorman was one of five brothers raised at the family's Sunnybrook Farm in Stevenson. He attended Calvert School, Gilman School and Princeton University.

After his eldest brother was killed in military action during World War II, Mr. Gorman left his studies to enlist in the Army Air Forces and become a combat pilot. He later recalled flying his 21st combat mission over Italy on his 21st birthday.

He was a police reporter for The Sun in the 1940s, and later edited a business magazine before going to work for James Rouse, then a mortgage banker, in 1955.

"Aubrey was a very successful, practical, tough-minded developer, with a great sense of humor and a quick wit that made him a pleasure to work with," said Martin L. Millspaugh, vice chairman of Enterprise Real Estate Services. "But he also had a serious side, a deep commitment to the ideals that stand behind Enterprise and Jim Rouse's legacy."

Mr. Gorman and Mr. Rouse were close, he said, "Jim as the visionary who sought the best that man could aspire to, and Aubrey as the nuts-and-bolts businessman who believed in Jim's projects and devoted himself to making them happen."

In 1981, after retiring from Rouse Co., he directed the construction of Norfolk Waterside, Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu, the Shops at Libertyplace in Philadelphia, and Harborside in Sydney, Australia, for the for-profit arm of the Enterprise Foundation.

In the 1990s, in an article he wrote for a school publication, Mr. Gorman described himself as "recovering real estate developer." He said, "I owe a lot to that experience but am extremely happy to have paved my last cornfield and am now interested in a number of environmental causes."

He joined the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's board and fought the dredging of Baltimore's harbor.

Mr. Gorman enjoyed vegetable gardening, fishing and hunting near a second home he kept for many years on the Talbot County waterfront. In recent years, he divided his time between homes in Spruce Head, Maine, and Boca Grande, Fla.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. today at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane in Owings Mills.

Mr. Gorman is survived by his wife, the former Alice Condon, whom he married in 1991. He was married for 40 years to the former Jacquelin Ambler Woods, who died in 1989.

He also is survived by four daughters, Powel Welliver of Baltimore, Jacquelin Gorman of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Sally McBride of Severna Park and Mary Clark Gibbons of Lutherville; a stepson, Charles Tiffany Bingham of Beijing; two stepdaughters, Eleanor Mallory of Atlanta and Grace Ott of Owings Mills; and 16 grandchildren. A son, Arthur Pue Gorman, died in 1980.

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