Louis Poletis, a retired printer who for many years helped produce racing programs for area thoroughbred tracks, died of a stroke Wednesday at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 79.
Mr. Poletis was born and raised in Baltimore, the son of Greek immigrants. He dropped out of Polytechnic Institute to help support his family.
In the early 1950s, he began working at the B&O Railroad's Mount Clare Printery, which produced forms, stationery and dining car menus used by the railroad.
In 1953, he joined Dulany-Vernay Inc., a Northwest Baltimore printing company, and for many years his work entailed visiting racetracks around the state.
"He worked in a boxcar that had been outfitted as a print shop, which a locomotive delivered to rail spurs nearest to Pimlico, Laurel, Bowie, Timonium and Marlboro racetracks," said his son, Angelo C. Poletis of Parkville. "They produced racing programs, and if a horse was scratched, for instance, a change could be made quickly because they were phoned to the boxcar print shop."
Mr. Poletis retired in 1988.
A longtime Lutherville resident, he had recently purchased a condominium in Perry Hall. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing on area public courses.
He was a member of Boumi Temple and a founder of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in East Baltimore. He also was a member and founder of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Baltimore County, where services were held yesterday.
Additional survivors include his wife of 47 years, the former Helen Tsambikos; a daughter, Denise P. Heper of Glyndon; a brother, Peter Poletis of Timonium; four sisters, Mary Katsiotis of Perry Hall, Katherine Padousis and Viola Connelly, both of Timonium, and Rose Marie Johns of Jacksonville, Fla.; and a grandson.