Raymond L. Wilhelm Sr., 90, Balto. County police officer

January 13, 2003

Raymond L. Wilhelm Sr., a veteran Baltimore County police officer, died of heart failure Wednesday at College Manor, a Lutherville retirement community. He was 90.

Mr. Wilhelm, a longtime resident of Northwood Drive in Timonium, was born and raised on his family's farm in Freeland. He attended Baltimore County public schools.

He joined the county Police Department in 1938, and was promoted to corporal and sergeant, both in 1947.

Throughout his 26-year career, he was assigned to the Cockeysville and Towson districts, and for eight years served in the taxicab bureau. He was a familiar presence in the department's now-closed station house on Washington Avenue in Towson, family members said.

In 1940, Mr. Wilhelm earned the sobriquet "One-man fire department" for extinguishing a fire in an empty truck parked at 3 a.m. in the Stebbins-Anderson Co. lumberyard. His quick action, accomplished before fire engines arrived, spared the yard, then the county's largest, from possible destruction.

After retiring in 1964, he went to work delivering The Jeffersonian, the Baltimore County weekly newspaper whose editorial offices were across the street from his former police station. He retired a second time in the late 1970s.

Mr. Wilhelm was married in 1934 to Pauline Price, who died in 1999. For many years, the couple spent winters at a second home they maintained in Melbourne, Fla.

Services with full departmental honors will be held at 1 p.m. today at Peaceful Alternatives, 2325 York Road, Timonium.

Survivors include a son, Raymond L. Wilhelm Jr. of Jarrettsville; a daughter, Dolores Geis of Parkton; a sister, Mary Asper of Cockeysville; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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