Leroy Albert Brandt, 88, builder, business

February 12, 2005

Leroy Albert Brandt, 88, builder, business owner

Leroy Albert Brandt, a retired builder and founder of a Baltimore flooring business, died Sunday of a heart attack at his winter home in Marathon, Fla. He was 88.

Mr. Brandt was born in Baltimore and raised on Kenwood Avenue in Northeast Baltimore. He was a 1934 graduate of Polytechnic Institute, where he played varsity football as a tackle and running back. He was captain of the football team while earning an engineering degree in 1940 at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia.

During World War II, Mr. Brandt enlisted in the Army Air Forces and was a flight instructor at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he helped train the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the nation's first African-American military pilots. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel.

In the late 1940s, he established Yorkshire Carpet House at Belvedere Avenue and York Road. He later opened stores in Timonium and Woodlawn, eventually giving them to a son and a nephew.

After leaving the business, he was a residential builder during the 1970s until retiring in the 1980s.

Mr. Brandt lived at the Broadview Apartments on University Parkway, where he was general manager until his death.

In the early 1970s, he designed and constructed a 64-foot yacht, the B'F, which included a hull from a classic Chesapeake Bay oyster buy-boat. As a member of the Classic Yacht Club, he participated in many yachting events, including the tall ships' visit to Baltimore in 1976 for the nation's bicentennial.

His wife of 50 years, the former Regina Lennon, died in 1990.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete yesterday.

Mr. Brandt is survived by his wife of six years, the former Mary R. Brush; a son, Leroy Albert Brandt Jr. of Raleigh, N.C.; a daughter, Linda Horner Burns of Baldwin; a brother, Vernon Brandt of Parkville; a sister, Thelma Goldsborough of Eldersburg; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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