Irwin P. Trail, 98, head of bank in Catonsville

July 14, 2004|By Ilene Hollin | Ilene Hollin,SUN STAFF

Irwin P. Trail, who helped launch the old Catonsville National Bank and became its president, died of heart failure July 7 at Charlestown Retirement Community. He was 98.

Born in Granite and raised on Old Court Road, Mr. Trail was the longest continuous member of Granite Presbyterian Church, which he joined in 1921.

A 1924 graduate of Randallstown High School, he attended Baltimore Business College and worked as a clerk for Union Trust bank for almost two years before helping to organize the Catonsville bank in 1927.

While serving as a bank clerk, he took night courses at the Johns Hopkins University and earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore.

Initially the cashier of the bank, he became vice president in 1938 and 10 years later was installed as president. He held the title for 14 years, until the bank's merger with First National Bank of Maryland in 1962. He retired in 1971 as a senior vice president of First National.

He also established an insurance business in the late 1940s. It became the Doetzer-Trail Insurance Agency when he sold it in the mid-1960s.

Margaret Ferguson, former pastor of the Granite church, said community members often spoke of Mr. Trail's kindness. During his years as president of the bank, he would give people mortgages when no else would, she said.

Mr. Trail served on the board of trustees for the University of Baltimore and the University of Baltimore Alumni Association until 1987. He also served on the advisory board of the former Catonsville Community College and for 26 years was a board member and treasurer of the Baltimore County Board of Library Trustees.

He also served on the boards of the former General German Orphans' Home in Catonsville and the Maryland Division of the American Cancer Society.

He was active in the Catonsville Businessmen's Association, which named him Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1965. He was also named Man of the Year by the University of Baltimore Alumni Association in 1971. He was a lifetime member of Rotary International.

He served on the Ration Board during World War II.

Mr. Trail moved to the Rockdale neighborhood after his 1936 marriage to Margaret Doetzer. They moved to Catonsville in 1953 and to Towson 15 years later, and finally to Charlestown in 1992. Mrs. Trail, a homemaker, died in 1993.

Mr. Trail enjoyed travel, fishing, golfing and gardening.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. July 26 at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown, 711 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville.

Survivors include three daughters, Elizabeth Neubauer of Towson, Ann Albrecht of Annapolis and Jane Culver of Ellicott City; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

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