Lewis Addison Beck, 96, lawyer for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

March 30, 2006

Lewis Addison Beck, a retired Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. lawyer who loved the sea and ships, died of heart failure March 23 at the Rodgers Forge home of a goddaughter. The former Roland Park resident was 96.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Beck lived in the same Victorian-era home on Oakdale Road from 1912 until 2002, when he moved to Roland Park Place. Since last year, he had lived with Elizabeth B.G. Renwick, a goddaughter.

Mr. Beck went to sea at age 13 when he signed on a ship for a voyage from Baltimore to Cuba. He later worked on vessels that carried him across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.

Returning to Baltimore, he enrolled at City College, from which he graduated in 1927. He earned an accounting degree and later a law degree from the University of Baltimore in the 1950s.

Mr. Beck began working in BGE's accounting department in the 1930s and later took a post in its law department. He retired in 1974.

During World War II, he served in the Coast Guard as a navigator aboard the patrol frigate USS Albuquerque in the Aleutian Islands patrolling for Japanese submarines.

The lure of ships, especially clippers, fascinated Mr. Beck throughout his life.

He was an accomplished model ship builder and rigging expert, and in his retirement began a second career as assistant curator of the George L. Radcliffe Maritime Collection at the Maryland Historical Society.

Three local sailing vessels that intrigued Mr. Beck were the Federalist, Lady Maryland and the first Pride of Baltimore, whose construction he chronicled photographically, from the laying of its keel to launch.

Mr. Beck had been leader of Boy Scout Troop 9, which met at Roland Park Presbyterian Church. He was awarded the Silver Beaver by the Boy Scouts for his years of service.

He also enjoyed listening to classical music and playing the mandolin. He often accompanied his wife of 70 years, the former Margaret Benson, who played piano. She died in 2004.

"Together, the Becks were very committed to community service, offering their hearts and famously social Roland Park home with its big wrap-around porch to numerous causes and celebrations," Ms. Renwick said.

Mr. Beck was a 50-year member of Roland Park Presbyterian Church, 4801 Roland Ave., where a memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.

There are no survivors.

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