Paul F. Coster, 91, partner in construction company

August 05, 2004

Paul F. Coster, a former partner in a Bare Hills construction company who raised and trained thoroughbred horses, died of pneumonia Saturday at Franklin Square Hospital Center. The Perry Hall resident was 91.

One of 12 children, Mr. Coster was born and raised on his family's Perry Hall farm. He attended Baltimore County public schools until the eighth grade, when he left to do farm work to help support his family.

He was later employed installing insulation for Johns Manville Co. and then worked for Young & Adams Construction Co., where he was a foreman and superintendent.

In 1956, Mr. Coster became a partner in J.H. Williams Inc., and during his tenure with the company worked on such projects as runway construction at Washington Dulles International Airport. He retired in 1971.

A licensed thoroughbred trainer, he established Coster Stables in 1955 and bred, trained and raced horses.

"He also built his own home and horse barns on his 4-acre farm," said his daughter, Elaine Lehr of Parkville.

Mr. Coster was married in 1936 to the former Annetta Schelhaus, who died in 1995.

He was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 8420 Belair Road, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today.

He also is survived by three brothers, Clarence Coster of Perry Hall, Wilbur Coster of Street and Bernard Coster of Chase; three sisters, Thelma "Sis" Gebhardt of Perry Hall, Ethel Guertler of Glen Arm and Margaret Booth of Darlington; and two grandchildren.

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