Richard Irwin Kolchin, 77, official at APG, artist

February 08, 2005

Richard Irwin Kolchin, a retired Aberdeen Proving Ground official and an artist, died of Alzheimer's disease Wednesday at Perry Point Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Aberdeen resident was 77.

Mr. Kolchin was born and raised in New York City, and served in the Navy during the final months of World War II as a seaman aboard the carrier USS Princeton in the Pacific.

After the war, he studied mechanical engineering on the GI Bill at New York University, earning his degree in 1948. Mr. Kolchin was drafted into the Army in 1950 and served as an engineer until 1952.

He earned a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1956 from Newark (N.J.) College of Engineering, and a master's in administration from Central Michigan University in 1977.

He began his career as a civilian employee of the Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and in 1964 transferred to Aberdeen. He was chief of the communications, control and intelligence division at APG, and retired in 1987.

Mr. Kolchin was an active member of Toastmasters International and a past president of Hutner Lodge of B'nai B'rith in Harford County. He also had served as president of The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region in the early 1990s, and had been an active member of the Harford Jewish Center.

An accomplished watercolor artist, Mr. Kolchin enjoyed painting portraits. He also liked calligraphy, drawing and baking bread.

Services were held Sunday.

Mr. Kolchin is survived by his wife of 50 years, the former Beatrice Schneck; a son, Frederick B. Kolchin of Huntsville, Ala.; a daughter, Cynthia Louise Kolchin of Bel Air; and a sister, Marilyn Kimelman of Rockville.

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