Walter C. McMann, 78, B&O Railroad engineer, veteran

January 29, 2003|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Walter Clayton McMann, a longtime Baltimore & Ohio Railroad engineer and Marine Corps veteran of World War II, died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Friday at his Perry Hall home. He was 78.

Born in Baltimore and raised on East Oliver Street, Mr. McMann left what was then Patterson Park High School during the Depression to help support his family. He scrubbed marble steps, delivered ice, caddied at the Elkridge Club and was a construction company waterboy.

In 1941, he went to work for at the B&O's Mount Clare shops, and later transferred to locomotive service as an apprentice fireman. He was promoted to engineer in 1950. He spent most of his career in freight service, operating trains between Baltimore's Riverside and Bayview yards and Philadelphia. He retired in 1986 from what was then the Chessie System, a successor company to the B&O.

"He loved the railroad and carried in his wallet to the day he died photographs of two engineers who had been very kind to him. And they had died years ago," said his wife of 48 years, the former Dorothy June Sagle.

"He used to say that he dreamed about working on the railroad every night, even though he was retired, and that's why he was so tired in the morning," she said.

During World War II, Mr. McMann served in the Pacific with the Marines and attained the rank of sergeant. He was a member of American Legion Post 130 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6506.

Mr. McMann enjoyed watching televised professional golf matches and the news, and had traveled to Ireland.

"He was a big Irish flirt with a big smile. I told him he had kissed the Blarney stone long before he ever visited Ireland," Mrs. McMann said, laughing.

A memorial Mass for Mr. McMann, who donated his body to the state Anatomy Board, will be offered at 11 a.m. Feb. 14 at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 8420 Belair Road, Fullerton.

In addition to his wife, Mr. McMann is survived by a son, Douglas Mann of Simsbury, Conn.; two daughters, Carleen Crostic of Cockeysville and Barbara Lenzenwegger of Pasadena; a brother, Charles McMann of Perry Hall; two sisters, Margaret O'Connor of Perry Hall and Alice Jarboe of Catonsville; and eight grandchildren.

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