Richard Lee Johe, 78, deacon, insurance executive

August 21, 2005

Richard Lee Johe, a retired insurance executive and an ordained deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 14 at his home in Sykesville. He was 78.

Born in Hornell, N.Y., he was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1945 and received an honorable medical discharge two years later. He completed undergraduate studies at Alfred University in upstate New York.

Throughout his working career at United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. and later Michigan Mutual, he continued his education, taking graduate courses at Duke and Syracuse universities and Dartmouth College.

"He was a mathematician at heart," said his daughter, Kathleen A. Bartholow of Sykesville. "He continued his education to use what he called his `brain muscle.'"

Mr. Johe earned a degree in theology nearly 35 years ago from St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore and was ordained a permanent deacon at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen by Cardinal Lawrence Sheehan. He was assigned to Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Randallstown, where he preached, performed weddings and baptisms, and taught religion classes for many years.

A funeral Mass was offered at the church Thursday.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Angelina M. Maranto ; a son, Gary L. Johe of Hanover, Pa.; a brother, Donald F. Lee of Metuchen, N.J.; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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