Edgar Genovese, 96, inventor who owned real estate firm

September 24, 2006|By Sumathi Reddy | Sumathi Reddy,Sun reporter

Edgar N. Genovese, a Little Italy native whose career included real estate and restaurant ownership, manufacturing and inventing, died Sept. 16 of complications from dementia at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. He was 96 and had lived in Towson.

Born in Baltimore, he was raised in Little Italy. As a youngster, he worked in a waffle cone factory, sold newspapers from streetcars and worked as a messenger for a gas and electric company, said his wife, the former Elizabeth Hlobick, whom he married in 1941.

"He was a self-made man," said a son, E. Nicholas Genovese of San Diego.

Edgar Genovese and his cousin, Louis Dominic "Iggy" Patti, founded Kings' Nightclub on Gough Street and then Sandwich Kings at Eastern Avenue and High Street, now called Iggy's Sandwich Kings.

Mr. Genovese began a career in manufacturing in 1941, working for the Bendix Corp., Liberty Motors and a company in New York. He was head of a production unit at Bendix during World War II, and received several awards for his production methods and procedures, family members said.

While working in New York for two years, he oversaw production of a new type of flamethrower for the Army, earning him an Army award for excellence, family members said.

Mr. Genovese and his family moved back to Baltimore in 1946, where they raised four children, first in Hamilton and then Timonium, before settling in the Glendale section of Towson.

Mr. Genovese made his mark in the real estate and mortgage loan business, working at firms that included Weaver Bros., Grempler Realty and Fraternity Federal Savings and Loan, before starting his own Towson agency, Genovese Realty.

"He really became well known in Baltimore in the real estate market," said his other son, Paul M. Genovese of Severna Park. "Between real estate and mortgages, he was in the business for over 30 years."

He retired in 1979 at the age of 70.

Family members say Mr. Genovese was best known for his inventive flair. He loved to create and build things, be it furniture in the house or practical gadgets to make life easier.

"There isn't a room in this house of ours that he hasn't done something to," Mrs. Genovese said.

He held patents to several of his inventions, Mrs. Genovese said.

"He was very, very creative," Paul Genovese said. "He loved to work with his hands and create things. He was a good carpenter, a creator."

His creations included a baby toilet seat that could be placed on top of a regular toilet seat; a top that pierced canned milk without creating a mess; and an ottoman that could open up into a child's seat, his wife said.

In his later years, Mr. Genovese created crafts such as wind chimes and salt-and-pepper shakers made from gourds, which he would give to family members, friends and charity groups.

"He was fascinated with doing things efficiently," said son E. Nicholas Genovese. "Streamlining techniques at work, making little gadgets that made things work better. And it extended to his professional work. He was the ultimate manager. The kind of person who made sure everything was going just right."

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at noon Saturday at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, 8501 Loch Raven Blvd., Baynesville.

In addition to his wife and two sons, survivors include two daughters, Gloria M. Jackson of Charlotte, N.C., and Elizabeth M. O'Rorke of Wood-Ridge, N.J.; a sister, Rose Dente of Catonsville; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

sumathi.reddy@baltsun.com

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