Meredith Dettor Jr., 83, insurance firm founder

July 03, 2005

Meredith Dettor Jr., founder and president of a Towson insurance brokerage and World War II veteran, died of cancer Wednesday at his home in the Hampton section of Baltimore County. He was 83.

Mr. Dettor was born in Baltimore and raised on Jonquil Avenue. He was a 1940 graduate of Forest Park High School and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941.

Trained as a pilot at Randolph Field in Texas, Mr. Dettor instructed foreign pilots and was then sent to aerial combat school. He was later assigned to Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold's West Coast Training Command as a flight commander and supervisor of instrument flying.

Near the end of the war, Mr. Dettor, who had attained the rank of lieutenant, was put in command of a B-29 squadron that was preparing for deployment to the Pacific.

"He never went overseas because they dropped the atomic bomb," said his wife of 59 years, the former Lucille White.

After being discharged in 1945, he returned to Baltimore and went to work in the insurance industry. In the 1950s, he established Collier Charter Corp., a Towson-based property and casualty insurance brokerage, which he operated until his death.

He was a Mason, and a member of the Jesters and Boumi Temple.

Mr. Dettor enjoyed spending time at homes he maintained in Ocean City and Naples, Fla., where he was a member of the Eagle Creek Country Club. He was an avid golfer and boater.

Services were Friday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Dettor is survived by a sister, Terry Walger of Amelia Island, Fla.; and several nieces and nephews.

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