Joseph Amrhein Sr., 86, engineer


Joseph Amrhein Sr., a retired industrial engineer for Western Electric Co. and a student of martial arts, died Monday of cancer at Northwest Hospital Center. The Baltimore resident was 86.

He was born in Baltimore and attended Polytechnic Institute, but withdrew before graduating to get a job to help his mother. He later returned to high school to earn his GED.

He served as a Navy petty officer during World War II aboard the USS Melvin R. Nauman, where he saw action at Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Philippine Islands. He was awarded 11 medals, including a medal from the president of China. He also served in the Korean War aboard the USS Dixie and was awarded the Korean Presidential medal.

After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1951, Mr. Amrhein attended night classes at the University of Baltimore to receive a certificate in production management and later a bachelor of science degree in industrial management.

Mr. Amrhein held several positions at Western Electric before retiring as an industrial engineer.

Once retired, Mr. Amrhein began to study martial arts and earned a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do at age 67. He earned a black belt in Karano Ryu karate at age 80. He volunteered teaching self-defense to senior citizens.

He enjoyed traveling with his family and going on camping trips to Gettysburg and other places in the region. His son, Joseph Amrhein Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., said his father staged a four-week cross-country camping trip that included stops at the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone.

Mr. Amrhein volunteered for a variety of organizations, including the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts. He also served as a Baltimore City Auxiliary Police officer for many years and taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation for the American Heart Association.

He was awarded certificates from the Presidential Fitness Committee for jogging and karate.

He married Erma Rehak May in 1943. She died in May.

Mr. Amrhein donated his body to the Maryland Anatomy Board. A memorial service will be scheduled later.

In addition to his son, he is survived by another son, Gregory Amrhein of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; a daughter, Jodie Dickey of Owings Mills; a brother, George Amrhein of Baltimore; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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