John R. Mentzer Jr., 70, pharmacist, soccer coach

January 16, 2003

John R. Mentzer Jr., a retired pharmacist and youth soccer coach, died of cancer Friday at his home in Fallston. He was 70, and earlier had lived in Rosedale for many years.

Born in Greensburg, Pa., and raised in Highlandtown and in eastern Baltimore County, Mr. Mentzer was a 1949 graduate of Kenwood High School. He received a degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 1954 after study at what was then Western Maryland College.

After graduating from pharmacy school, he entered the Navy and was an executive officer and operations officer aboard the USS Guide, a minesweeper that worked off the coasts of Japan and Korea in the late 1950s. He attained the rank of lieutenant and was later in the Naval Reserves.

He worked several years as a pharmaceutical sales representative for the Pfizer drug company, then became a pharmacist for a Read's drugstore in the Hillendale Shopping Center in 1964. Beginning about 1970, he became a hospital pharmacist -- first at what is now the University of Maryland Medical Center, then at the old Church Home and Hospital, and finally at St. Agnes HealthCare, where he retired three years ago.

About 30 years ago, Mr. Mentzer became involved with boys' soccer in Rosedale and other Baltimore County leagues. He was a former president of the Beltway Soccer League, and held posts in the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association.

He was active in the Old Timers Soccer Association of Maryland, a group that awarded Mr. Mentzer its 1994 John A. Schmid Service Award for his efforts in the administration and promotion of soccer.

Mr. Mentzer also volunteered in the Maryland Special Olympics, working with his friend Cal Ripken Sr., the late Baltimore Orioles coach and manager.

A funeral Mass was offered Monday at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church in Fallston, where he was a member.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 39 years, the former Carole Emma Seta; two sons, John R. Mentzer III of Sarasota, Fla., and James A. Mentzer of Fallston; a daughter, Joann M. Hess of Elkridge; a sister, Della Elizabeth Funk of Bel Air; and two grandsons.

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