George B.P. Ward, 96, lawyer, state delegate

January 21, 2003|By Stephanie Desmon | Stephanie Desmon,SUN STAFF

George B.P. Ward, a retired lawyer who served a term in the Maryland House of Delegates in the 1930s, died Saturday of renal failure at his home in Owings Mills. He was 96.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Ward graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 1928 and earned a degree from Harvard Law School in 1931. He served many years as a lawyer in Baltimore City and Baltimore County and was a member of both bar associations. His practice was primarily in the areas of probate and real estate law, and he acted as counsel to several banks and building and loan associations. He retired from the active practice of law in 1982.

Mr. Ward, who had been chairman of what was then the Reisterstown Democratic Club, was elected delegate in 1934. He represented Baltimore County, which at the time had six at-large delegates. His son, George Ward Jr. of Annapolis, said his father didn't talk much about his years in the State House and recalled he passed one piece of legislation - a bill that had "something to do with a cheaper license for a trailer attached to a car."

FOR THE RECORD - The original published version of this obituary contained an error. This archived version has been corrected.

Mr. Ward was defeated by the Democratic ticket of political chieftain H. Streett Baldwin that swept into office in 1938.

A resident for much of his life of what began as a rural Owings Mills, Mr. Ward was a life member of the Owings Mills Volunteer Fire Company and was its treasurer for more than 20 years. The fire station was built on a parcel on his grandfather's farm in 1930, and Mr. Ward lived next door to it for many years. That meant he was often the first to arrive after the sound of an alarm, and he frequently drove an engine to the scene of the fire. In 1935, he was president of the Baltimore County Volunteer Firemen's Association.

In 1931, he married Henrietta Peterson, who died in 1987.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Thomas Church, Garrison Forest at 232 St. Thomas Lane, where he was a member.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, Laverne Zesch Ward; another son, John P. Ward of Owings Mills; four stepchildren, Helen Z. Ward of Owings Mills, Ronald Zesch of Ridgewood, N.J., and Loren Zesch and Marilyn Zesch, both of New York; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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