E. Phillips Hathaway, 83, banker

February 11, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

E. Phillips Hathaway, an investment banker and decorated World War II aviator who supported educational and health-related institutions across Maryland with grants during 30 years as president of the Middendorf Foundation, died Friday of congestive heart failure at his Owings Mills home. He was 83.

"Both Phil and his wife were charitably inclined and very involved in the community. He was a very giving person who never asked for anything in return," said Forrest F. Bramble Jr., a Baltimore attorney and longtime friend.

Mr. Hathaway was born in Boston and raised in New York City and on his family's Ferry Point Farm in Chuckatuck, Va. He was a 1938 graduate of the Choate School and attended the University of Virginia. In 1941, he interrupted college studies to become a Marine Corps aviator.

Assigned to the Pacific as a B-25 bomber pilot, he flew 21 night combat missions against Japanese targets in Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima. In 1945, he participated in the first land-based raid on the Japanese home islands since Gen. Jimmy Doolittle's historic attack in 1942.

On another occasion, Mr. Hathaway came to the rescue of three pilots who had become disoriented after a night bombing run. They were low on fuel and facing possible ditching in the Pacific. Disobeying orders, he changed course to lead one plane safely back to base while providing navigational aid for the two others.

He attained the rank of captain, with decorations including three Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Mr. Hathaway's work in philanthropy had its origins at the reception for his 1945 marriage to Barbara Sealy Mallory, where J. William Middendorf Jr. was among the guests.

"Mr. Middendorf offered Dad a job," said Mr. Hathaway's son, Phillips "Pete" Hathaway of Salisbury, Conn., recounting how his father moved from New York to Baltimore in 1946 to join the investment banking firm of Middendorf, Colgate & Co.

When the firm was dissolved after Mr. Middendorf's death in 1973, he became a partner in Investment Counselors of Maryland until retiring in 1979.

At Mr. Middendorf's direction, Mr. Hathaway established the charitable Middendorf Foundation, and he remained its president until his death.

"He was hands-on when it came to finding the type of institutions that Mr. Middendorf would have contributed to. If he was interested, he worked diligently to make it a reality," said Theresa N. Knell, a trustee and corporate secretary of the foundation.

Recipients of support included the B&O Railroad Museum, Maryland Historical Society, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Goodwill Industries and the Fuel Fund of Maryland. Hospitals, hospices and other health care providers also were recipients.

One facility that caught Mr. Hathaway's interest was the Open Gates Nurse-Managed Health Center on Washington Boulevard in Southwest Baltimore. "He was particularly interested in clinics that helped the needy and those who were under- or not insured," Mrs. Knell said.

"He was very much a part of life at Open Gates, and his interest goes way back to the early 1990s. His commitment and dedication was unmatched," said Marge Jozsa, executive director of the clinic. "He was instrumental in helping us with our new $2 million facility that opened last year. We wouldn't be here today without his help."

Mrs. Jozsa described Mr. Hathaway as "always approachable" and "wanting us to do more in meeting the health care needs of families and individuals."

Mr. Hathaway was an avid hunter. In recent years he had developed an interest in steeplechase racing and formed the Phoenix Stable partnership with Francis N. Iglehart. He also maintained a lifelong interest in the Civil War and enjoyed visiting battlefields with his family.

His memberships included the Maryland Club and Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.

He was a communicant and former member of the vestry at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane, in Owings Mills, where a memorial service will be held at noon tomorrow.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Hathaway is survived by three daughters, Mallory Hathaway of New York City, Rebecca Hathaway Lynch of Stonington, Conn., and Sealy Hathaway Hopkinson of Huntington, N.Y.; a brother, H. Grant Hathaway of Ruxton; and five grandchildren.

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