C. Albert Ruppersberger, 84, businessman and veteran

March 28, 2006|By JACQUES KELLY | JACQUES KELLY,SUN REPORTER

C. Albert "Al" Ruppersberger, a business owner and the father of Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, died of pneumonia Friday at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. The Riderwood resident was 84.

A Baltimore native, he was raised on Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore, where the family operated - and continues to run - a meat business founded in 1886.

"During their busy times my father could recall helping to deliver meat in a horse-drawn wagon," said his daughter, Carol Ruppersberger Norton of Timonium.

Though raised in the city, Mr. Ruppersberger spent his summers on a working family farm in Frederick County, where he did chores.

A 1939 graduate of Forest Park High School, Mr. Ruppersberger was class president and played varsity football and ran track. He then earned a degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was class president, belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and played center for the football team, boxed and ran track.

He was the subject of a 1939 Associated Press article after a group of Maryland sophomores cut most of his hair off for breaking freshman rules.

After college, he served in the military. He also attended the Johns Hopkins University.

He worked in sales and marketing for the crane and hoist division of Dresser Industries and was later president of Jefferson Service Co. on O'Donnell Street. He owned several companies and, at his death, was a consultant in security ventures.

"He was an old-line Baltimorean, through and through," said his son, the congressman.

The patriarch of his family, Mr. Ruppersberger gathered his family at the Lexington Market shortly before Christmas for many years.

"He starting at Faidley's for a breakfast of raw oysters and a crab cake," said his daughter. "Then he moved us on to fried chicken and sausage and ended at the Konstant candy stall. He loved the peanut taffy."

A Mason for 62 years, Mr. Ruppersberger belonged to the Sharon Lodge, the Scottish Rite, and the Boumi Temple, where he was the 1981 potentate. He was also a past president of the Towson Shrine Club.

"He emphasized the Shriners' hospital work for crippled and burned children," his daughter said.

He was a past president of the Chesapeake Toastmasters and was a board member of the Buddies, a Fraternal Order of Police group that supports Baltimore Boys and Girls Clubs.

Mr. Ruppersberger was also a board member of Volunteers for Medical Engineering, whose members work to assist disabled persons with new technologies.

He was a member of Gov. William Donald Schaefer's Breakfast Club and avidly followed the Colts, Ravens, Orioles, and University of Maryland Terrapins.

He was a life member of the Valley Country Club, the Engineering Society of Baltimore and the University of Maryland Alumni and Terrapin Club.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St., where he served on the administrative board and was an usher.

In addition to his daughter and son, survivors include his wife of 62 years, the former Peggy Wilson; another son, Reese Wilson Ruppersberger of Timonium; and four grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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