Lee J. Sosnowski, 84, Arundel roads chief

September 09, 2006|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,sun reporter

Lee Joseph Sosnowski, former chief of roads and later federal aid coordinator for Anne Arundel County, died of kidney failure Sunday at Kent General Hospital in Dover, Del. The former longtime Severna Park resident was 84.

Mr. Sosnowski was born and raised in Baltimore.

After graduating in 1939 from Polytechnic Institute, he built bombers at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. plant in Middle River during World War II.

A lifelong pigeon fancier, he also raised carrier pigeons, which he supplied to the Army.

In 1958, Mr. Sosnowski went to work for the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, where he eventually rose to become chief of roads.

During his tenure, he was responsible for paving many gravel roads in the county.

He ended his county career as federal aid coordinator, retiring in 1993.

A lifelong Democrat, Mr. Sosnowski managed many campaigns for county office-seekers and was a delegate to the Maryland Constitutional Convention in the late 1960s.

"He was like my brother and had managed my campaigns. I can't tell you how dedicated he was and how he could cut through bureaucratic red tape," Joseph W. Alton Jr., Anne Arundel's first county executive, said yesterday.

"He wasn't an engineer, but he had honest-to-God good common sense," Mr. Alton said. "No one could figure out how to pave the alleys in Brooklyn Park, and I told Lee to figure out some way how to do it. And he did."

After his children were grown, Mr. Sosnowski entered college and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the Johns Hopkins University in 1976.

In addition to being a member of the Curtis Bay Pigeon Club, Mr. Sosnowski served as district commissioner of the Annapolis Pony Club.

He was later regional state supervisor of the U.S. Pony Clubs.

"He was a firm believer that there was nothing better for the inside of a child than the outside of a horse," said a daughter, Dr. Janice Sosnowski-Nichol of Dover, Del.

Mr. Sosnowski was an avid duckpin bowler and a member for years of the Carrollton Manor League.

He also was a member of the Severna Park Gourmet Club, where he was in charge of liquor and wine, family members said.

For the last 12 years, he had lived in Dover, Del.

His wife of 57 years, the former Irene Sienkielewski, died in 2000.

Mr. Sosnowski was a communicant of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday.

Also surviving are a son, Dr. Kenneth Sosnowski of Salem, Va.; another daughter, Dr. Karen Phillips of Bel Air; his mother, Victoria Sosnowski of Brooklyn Park; a sister, Doris Hurman of Brooklyn Park; and five grandchildren.

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