Russell Thomas House, 69, entrepreneur

October 25, 2003

Russell Thomas House, an entrepreneur whose business interests included wigs, plants and restaurants, died of pneumonia Wednesday at a hospital in Palisades, N.J. The former Annapolis resident was 69.

Mr. House was born and raised in Baltimore and graduated from Calvert Hall College High School in 1952. He attended the University of Maryland and served in the Army during the 1950s.

Mr. House was selling radio advertising in the late 1950s when he realized the potential of wigs while calling on a client at Mondawmin Mall. He later moved to Hong Kong where he established a factory that manufactured and sold wigs.

He married the former Beverly Bogen in 1961. They were later divorced.

He returned to Baltimore in the early 1970s, and established the Pot House, which sold supplies for terrariums. He and his then-wife operated stores in Reisterstown, Towson and Annapolis.

After closing the stores, he and his wife established a yogurt and sandwich shop, Yummy in Your Tummy, in Annapolis.

In the 1980s, he moved to New York, where he operated a video store and a partnership that manufactured Ghedeni Designer Jeans.

In 1988, he married the former Bobbie Smith, who owns and operates the Landmark Coffee Shop near the historic Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, N.J. His wife handled the shop's day-to-day operations, and he prepared the baked goods.

A former resident of West New York, N.J., Mr. House had been living in a nursing home in Union City, N.J., since 1998.

He was an avid moviegoer and opera fan. He also liked attending rock concerts and visiting art galleries.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete yesterday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. House is survived by a son, Russell T.J. House of Stroudsburg, Pa.; two daughters, Tiffany H. Powell of Preston and Tracy P. Rudomanski of Stevensville; and four grandchildren.

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