Joseph D. Deigert, 79, Harford developer

October 04, 2004|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Joseph D. Deigert, a Harford County developer whose spirit of generosity was marked by his land donations and support of scholarship programs, died Friday of a heart attack at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. He was 79.

For nearly 50 years, the Fallston resident sold real estate and developed properties in Harford and Baltimore counties.

But he was perhaps better known in the community for his gifts of land for a playground, library extension and an environmental classroom. He was also a strong supporter of college scholarship programs in Harford County.

"He was very serious, very interesting," said a son, Eric Deigert of Fallston. "He was articulate and cared very much about education. And he pretty much worked up until the day he went into the hospital."

FOR THE RECORD - Joseph D. Deigert:
The obituary for Joseph D. Deigert that appeared in the editions of Oct. 4 misstated his military record. The Purple Heart was not among the decorations he received for service in the Army Air Forces during World War II.
The Sun regrets the error.

Born in Putty Hill, Mr. Deigert graduated from Kenwood High School in 1942. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces as a radio operator on a B-24 named The Shady Lady and flew bombing missions over Germany. Among his decorations was a Purple Heart.

Upon returning home, he attended the College of William and Mary where he earned a degree in business administration in 1948.

Mr. Deigert went to work for Shell Oil Co. in Baltimore in the land acquisition department. After a few years there, he began a real estate business as a Realtor and later went into housing development.

His family said one of Mr. Deigert's joys was giving. He donated land for an extension of the Fallston Public Library, the Lyn Stacie Getz Creative Playground in Bel Air and Bel Air High School's outdoor environmental classroom.

Mr. Deigert also financed several college scholarships, his family said.

His favorite hobby was gardening, and he tended an acre of plants and vegetables at his home. "He had 75 tomato plants, and Mom has a huge greenhouse where she grows flowers," his son said. "My parents grew everything under the sun."

He was a member of the National Horticultural Society and was one of the original members of the Harford County Chapter of Homebuilders. He also belonged to the state Board of Realtors and had served on the Fallston Community Planing Council.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church in Fallston.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 38 years, the former Ingeborg Palik; another son, Kurt Deigert of Fallston; and two grandchildren.

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