Charles B. Ramsdell, 85, electrical engineer, sailor

October 19, 2003

Charles Benjamin Ramsdell, a former Westinghouse Corp. executive who retired to Annapolis so he could sail on the Chesapeake Bay, died Wednesday at Charlestown Retirement Community of complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 85.

Born in Washington, Mr. Ramsdell grew up in the Gaithersburg area of Montgomery County and graduated from Catholic University in 1940 with a degree in electrical engineering.

Later that year, he moved to Schenectady, N.Y., where he began a 23-year career with General Electric. As part of his job there, he worked on tanks for the military during World War II. It was in Schenectady that he met and married his wife, the former Mildred Phillips.

His career with General Electric took him to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Bloomfield, N.J., and Tyler, Texas. In March 1964, Mr. Ramsdell and his family moved to Pittsburgh, where he joined the Westinghouse Air Brake Co. In 1973, he became vice president and general manager of the worldwide Railway Products Group of American Standard Inc.

After 17 years in Pittsburgh, he retired in 1981 to Annapolis, where he bought a sailboat. He and his wife also traveled extensively after his retirement. The couple moved to Charlestown in Baltimore in 1991.

Services were held Friday in Gaithersburg.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by one daughter, Barbara Hathaway of Riverside, Conn.; two sons, W. Craig Ramsdell of Dedham, Mass., and Paul C. Ramsdell of Pittsburgh; three sisters, Ellen McNally and Anne Kingsley, both of Gaithersburg, and Barbara Jones of Frederick; and four grandchildren.

Donations may be sent to Parkinson Research, Johns Hopkins University, 600 N. Wolfe St., Carnegie Building No. 214, Baltimore 21287.

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