William F. Cecil Jr., 79, insurance executive

July 15, 2005

William F. Cecil Jr., a retired Baltimore insurance executive, died of complications from a brain tumor Saturday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. He was 79 and a resident of Lewes, Del.

Born in Leonardtown and raised in Baltimore's Govans neighborhood, he attended Mount St. Joseph High School and City College, which he left to join the Marine Corps on his 17th birthday.

He served during World War II in the Panama Canal Zone, where his unit was responsible for safeguarding passage of troop and supply ships. He was later a captain in the 29th Infantry Division of the Maryland National Guard.

Mr. Cecil worked as a Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. lineman, and in the early 1950s joined the insurance agency subsidiary of the AAA Automobile Club of Maryland. In 1965, he was named vice president and general manager.

He was a past president of the Tri-State Insurance Association and served on its board.

In 1995, Mr. Cecil and his wife of 28 years, the former Mary Loretta Knoedler, moved from White Hall in northern Baltimore County to the Delaware shore and had resided in Lewes since 2002.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church, 5500 York Road, where he was a former member.

In addition to his wife, survivors include four sons: William F. Cecil III of Middle River, Robert J. Cecil of Cockeysville, J. Thomas Cecil of Washington and James M. Cecil of Timonium; a stepdaughter, Jacqueline Higgins of Phoenix in Baltimore County; a brother, Thomas D. Cecil of New York City; five sisters, Elizabeth C. Wagner and Margaret C. Seone, both of Baltimore, Amanda Hawkins of San Francisco, and Anne C. Adamski and Tisa C. Deforge, both of Philadelphia; 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. His marriage of 25 years to Helen Davis ended in divorce.

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