Herbert B. MacLea, 70, owner of lumber firm

October 08, 2003

Herbert Beatson MacLea, an architectural lumber firm owner who was active in an entry-level job-placement organization, died Sunday of coronary artery disease at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The North Baltimore resident was 70.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Homeland, he was a descendant of William Paca, one of Maryland's signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Mr. MacLea attended Calvert School and was a 1950 graduate of Friends School. He earned an engineering degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and a master's degree in engineering administration from George Washington University.

Mr. MacLea was a wood broker for MacLea Architectural Wood Products, a business his grandfather founded as the MacLea Lumber Co. on South Central Avenue near the harbor. At the time of his death, Mr. MacLea was working out of his home.

His job involved selecting exotic lumber, including mahogany and walnut, that was used on building interiors in the Middle Atlantic region, Bermuda and the Middle East. He worked with builders, architects and interior designers.

He became chairman of Genesis Jobs in 1985. For the past 18 years, he was a volunteer at the Remington Avenue nonprofit job-placement organization.

"After his people got their jobs, he called them up in the evening and talked to them about how it was going," said his wife of 49 years, the former Barbara Bernhard. "He asked them how could he help."

Mr. MacLea was a past president of the Towson YMCA and the Murray Hill Association.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where he was an active member.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Sally MacLea Spence of Edina Minn., and Ginger MacLea Murtaugh of Wilton, Conn.; a brother, Daniel C. MacLea Jr. of Naples, Fla.; and five grandchildren.

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