Willis Dodge Lamdin, 89, drop-hammer operator

November 25, 2003

Willis Dodge Lamdin, a retired drop-hammer operator who worked for Martin Marietta Corp. and later Boeing, died of chronic leukemia Thursday at Charlestown Retirement Community. He was 89.

Mr. Lamdin was born in Reisterstown and moved with his family to Wilmington, Del., where he graduated from high school. He later returned to Baltimore and graduated from Strayer Business College.

He began working in 1941 as a drop-hammer operator at the former Glenn L. Martin Co. plant in Middle River.

"It was the largest drop hammer in the world, and he used it to shape metal and ribs that were used in the construction of aircraft," said his son, Willis D. Lamdin Jr. of Woodland Park, Colo.

After leaving Martin Marietta in 1967, he took a job at Boeing's Vertol Division in Upper Darby, Pa., where he continued to operate the drop hammer. He retired in 1979.

Mr. Lamdin had lived in Northwood, Bel Air and Ocean Pines before moving to the retirement community in 1993. He was an active member and former lieutenant commander of the Ocean City Power Squadron.

While living in Northwood, Mr. Lamdin attended St. Peter's Lutheran Church.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 6 in Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown, 715 Maiden Choice Lane in Catonsville.

In addition to his son, Mr. Lamdin is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Doris E. Miller; two daughters, Judith A. Halley of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Janice Marie Lamdin of Eldersburg; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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