Francis X. Borgerding Sr., 77, lawyer and advocate for state housing industry

August 01, 2004|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF

Francis X. Borgerding Sr., a lawyer who served as an advocate for issues affecting Maryland's home-building and apartment-management industries, died yesterday of complications from Parkinson's disease at Glen Meadows Retirement Community in Glen Arm. He was 77.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Borgerding grew up in the Hamilton neighborhood and lived in Parkville for 45 years before moving to the retirement community two years ago.

He attended Polytechnic Institute before dropping out to enlist in the Navy. Mr. Borgerding served from 1945 to 1946 aboard the USS Iowa in the Pacific.

Upon his return, he earned his high school diploma through the Veterans Institute in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Baltimore in 1949 and earned his law degree from the university's School of Law in 1952.

"The Navy did a lot for him," said the former Betty Bernice Wilson, his wife of 52 years. "He had great ambition and went to law school."

Mr. Borgerding spent 47 years with Regional Management Inc., a Baltimore real estate firm, serving as its attorney and vice president. He retired in 1997 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, family members said.

He was a familiar sight around Annapolis, where he worked on legislative issues affecting the home-building industry.

He served as the president of the Maryland Builders Association from 1990 to 1992. He was a member of the Home Builders Association of Maryland's board of directors, receiving the group's Builder of the Year award in 1980.

Mr. Borgerding was the past president of the HBAM's Apartment Builders and Owners Council, also serving as its legislative chairman in Annapolis for more than 20 years.

He also served on former Gov. William Donald Schaefer's lead paint commission for several years in the early 1990s.

"He loved the industry, and he wanted to improve things for the industry," his wife said.

Mr. Borgerding also was a well-known figure on East Fayette Street, where his offices were located, recalled his son, Francis X. Borgerding Jr. of Perry Hall.

"If you talk to any lawyers around there, his trademark thing was wearing top hats," said his oldest son, who is also a lawyer. "I still have lawyers coming up to me and saying, `I used to see your dad walking around town 15 years ago, wearing his top hats.'"

Mr. Borgerding served as a lay incorporator and parishioner of St. Thomas More Church. He was a member of the Notre Dame Council of the Knights of Columbus, the Parkville American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Mr. Borgerding's brother, Edward, was also a lawyer and was the former chief judge of the District Court of Maryland in Baltimore. The District Court building on Wabash Avenue is named after Judge Borgerding, who died in 1982.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Thomas More Church, 6806 McClean Blvd. in Baltimore.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Borgerding is survived by a daughter, Deborah A. Padnuk of Fort Myers, Fla.; another son, Thomas Edward Borgerding of Perry Hall; and six grandchildren.

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