Robert H. Belsinger, a retired Ellicott City businessman and World War II veteran, died of heart failure Monday at Howard County General Hospital. The Silver Spring resident was 80.
Mr. Belsinger was born and raised in Baltimore, and graduated from City College in 1943. He enlisted in the Army Air Forces, trained as a tail gunner and served in the 8th Air Force in Ipswich, England.
He was aboard a B-17 that was shot down over Germany in April 1945. He was captured and interned in a prisoner-of-war camp until being returned to the U.S. His decorations included the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
Returning to Baltimore after his 1946 discharge, Mr. Belsinger went to work for Belsinger Sign Works Inc., a family-owned business.
In 1962, he established Belsinger Paint & Hardware in the Normandy Shopping Center in Ellicott City,and operated the business until 1975. From 1972 to 1984, he owned and operated Belsinger Home Improvement Co. in Timonium.
In 2002, Mr. Belsinger moved from Ellicott City to Leisure World in Silver Spring.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing, and was a member of the Boumi Temple, Optimist Club and Yingling Ridgely Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7472 in Ellicott City.
A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday at the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew in Silver Spring.
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, the former Audrey Ellen Bauer; three daughters, Doneth M. Hinkleman of Sykesville, Susan L. Belsinger of Brookeville and Sally A. Belsinger of Joseph, Ore.; a sister, Claire Martielli of Ellicott City; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. His son, Robert H. Belsinger Jr., died in 1950.