Samuel A. Clauss, a former merchant mariner and port safety director, died in his sleep Sunday at an assisted-living facility in Hammonton, N.J. He was 88, and formerly a longtime Towson resident.
Mr. Clauss was born and raised in Hammonton, and after graduating from high school joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. He went to sea in the late 1930s when he became a merchant mariner as an engine room oiler.
In 1942, he went to work for Norgulf Steamship Co., serving aboard its fleet of oil tankers as chief engineer. He sailed in many North Atlantic convoys, including three on the famed "Murmansk Run," which delivered war equipment to the Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel.
In 1945, he came ashore to serve in Baltimore as port engineer for the company, represented here by Penn-Maryland Steamship Corp. In 1948, he joined Lavino Shipping Co. and became its stevedore superintendent in Baltimore, Hampton Roads, Va., and Philadelphia.
From 1958 to 1962, he was in charge of the company's safety program in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
In the early 1960s, Mr. Clauss joined the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore Inc. as safety director, overseeing and inaugurating a portwide dock safety program. He was the association's vice president for safety and security when he retired in 1984.
Mr. Clauss was a member of the Chesapeake chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers, American Legion Post 183 and Project Liberty Ship, which restored, owns and operates the SS John W. Brown.
Services are private.
His wife of 40 years, the former Norma Johnson, died in 1994.
Surviving are a stepson, Kent Willoughby of Silverthorn, Colo.; four brothers, F. Otis Clauss of Belen, N.M., Warren E. Clauss of Auburn, N.Y., C. Robert Clauss of Hammonton and Richard A. Clauss of Spokane, Wash.; four sisters, Helen Doerfel and Martha Monzo, both of Hammonton, Hilda Packard of Lynwood, Wash., and Freda Lutz of San Bruno, Calif.