Ronald M. Kropp, former director of planning and development for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services, died of coronary artery disease Oct. 23 at his Otterbein home. He was 56.
Mr. Kropp, who was born in Baltimore and raised in Parkville, graduated from Parkville High School in 1964. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore in 1968. In 1974, he earned a master's degree in comprehensive health system planning from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.
He served for two years as a specialist 5 in Vietnam with the Army's Airborne Special Forces Group. He was discharged in 1970.
While serving on the board of the Southeast Community Organization from 1972 to 1977, he helped establish the Southeast Health Co-Operative, a nonprofit health service that provided primary health care to Highlandtown residents.
From 1974 until retiring in 1996, Mr. Kropp directed and coordinated fund-raising efforts that resulted in the establishment of Maryland's statewide emergency medical system.
Mr. Kropp worked closely for many years with Dr. R Adams Cowley, who founded the emergency medical services system in Maryland and was director of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
Mr. Kropp developed the emergency medical services plan that is in use today, and served as a member of the Statewide Emergency Medical Services Council.
A pioneering resident of the city's Otterbein section, Mr. Kropp began renovating in 1976 the "dollar house" on Sharp Street that he would live in for the remainder of his life.
He served as president of the community association, was chairman of its architectural review committee and was a block captain. He was also a volunteer firefighter for the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Company.
In 1980, he married the former Sandra Teller, who died in 1992.
Mr. Kropp was a communicant of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church.
A Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Fullerton.
Mr. Kropp is survived by his sister, Denise Kropp of Baltimore; and several cousins.