Harry R. John, 84, civil engineer

August 24, 2006

Harry R. John, a civil engineer and founder of a Towson construction company, died of arteriosclerosis Aug. 17 at Oak Crest Village in Parkville, where he had lived since 1998. He was 84.

Mr. John was born and raised in Troy, N.Y. He put his college education on hold to enlist in the Navy during World War II and served aboard an electronics repair ship.

After the war, he returned to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1949.

After working as a field engineer and construction superintendent, he went to work for General Electric Co. in Albany, N.Y., and later in Louisville, Ky., as a design engineer and construction superintendent.

In 1961, he took a position as project manager with Baltimore Contractors Inc., which at the time was building the Baltimore Civic Center.

Mr. John oversaw the construction of the building - now known as 1st Mariner Arena - which took 14 months from groundbreaking to completion.

He was vice president of Piracci Construction Co. for four years before establishing John & Albert Construction Co. Inc., a commercial and industrial construction business, in 1969. After closing it in 1977, he founded H.R.J. Consultants Inc., a construction-industry consulting and arbitration firm which he operated until 1998.

Mr. John enjoyed boating and spending time at a second home he owned for years in Bethany Beach, Del.

He was an avid Colts, Bullets and Clippers fan.

A funeral Mass was offered Monday at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Rodgers Forge, where Mr. John was a longtime communicant, a lector and catechism class teacher.

Surviving are his wife of 64 years, the former Eleanor Hughes; two sons, Edward F. John of Anneslie and Robert N. John of Frankford, Del.; a daughter, Patricia E. Saul of Towson; three sisters, Ruth Ward and Doris Elerding, both of Seattle, and Marion Roach of Harrisburg, Pa.; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Another son, Richard H. John, died in 1981.

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