H. Cassell Roop, former New Windsor mayor and town council member who had operated a century-old, family-owned grocery store for nearly 50 years, died of complications from diabetes Monday at Long View Nursing Home in Manchester. The lifelong New Windsor resident was 79.
Mr. Roop was a 1943 graduate of New Windsor High School and served in the merchant marine aboard Liberty ships during World War II. He participated in convoys to Brazil, Romania and China, family members said.
After the war, he went to work in the mom-and-pop business that had been a fixture in New Windsor since its founding by John H. Roop in 1896. The business moved to a brick building at High and Church streets in 1940.
Mr. Roop, who retired in 1990, turned over the business to a son, Neal C. Roop of New Windsor, who operated it six days a week until closing it in 1997.
Mr. Roop was first elected to the New Windsor Town Council in 1950 and served for the next 26 years. He was elected to one term as mayor in 1985.
He was a charter member of New Windsor Fire and Hose Company No. 1 and had been a member of New Windsor State Bank for 34 years.
He was an active member of the Plymouth Lodge of the Masons, York Rite and the Boumi Temple.
He was a longtime volunteer at Carroll Hospital Center and Meals on Wheels in Carroll County. A baseball fan, he played in his youth for Wakefield and for two decades with the New Windsor Acs. He was a member of the Carroll County Oldtimers Baseball Club.
Mr. Roop was an active member and head usher for many years of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 200 Main St. in New Windsor, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Surviving are his wife, Regina Griffin, a retired Carroll County public schools first-grade teacher; two other sons, Michael S. Roop of Union Bridge and Todd G. Roop of Glyndon; two daughters, Marian L. Roop of Baltimore and Kimberly A. Diggs of Manchester; two sisters, Ann Eberly of Gaithersburg and Betty Guerrieri of Escondido, Calif.; and five grandchildren.