Morton B. Plant

[ Age 70 ] Metal recycling executive was an active philanthropist within the Jewish community

January 15, 2007|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN REPORTER

Morton B. "Sonny" Plant, a retired metal recycling executive and philanthropist, died Wednesday from head injuries after falling on stairs at a friend's home in Baltimore. The lifelong city resident was 70.

Mr. Plant, who preferred using his childhood nickname, started his career in the scrap metal industry at H. Klaff and Co. in Baltimore, his family's business. He retired in 1998 as chairman of the board of Keywell Corp. During his career, he served as president of the Institute of Scrap Iron and Steel, the industry's trade organization, which two years ago gave him its lifetime achievement award.

"He was retired but still very much involved in the business," said a nephew, Larry Plant of Baltimore.

A graduate of City College and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, Mr. Plant was a board member of University of Maryland Medical Systems and Mercantile Bank & Trust.

Mr. Plant was also well-known for his charitable endeavors, particularly in the Jewish community. He most recently served as the co-chairman of the capital campaign for The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore as well as chairman of the organization's audit committee.

Marc B. Terrill, president of The Associated, said in a statement, "The death of Morton B. Plant is an incalculable loss, not only for me personally, but for our entire Baltimore Jewish Community - indeed for our worldwide Jewish family.

"Thanks to his many years of leadership and wise counsel, he integrated the highest Jewish values with a practical, results-oriented approach that made a difference in millions of lives," Mr. Terrill said.

From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Plant was chairman of The Associated's board. He also was chairman of the North American Maccabi Youth Games played in Maryland in 1993.

"The Maccabi games are what pulled him into charitable work," said his nephew. "It made him want to continue his involvement and make good things happen for people here, in Israel and all over the world."

Services were Friday at Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Pikesville.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 50 years, the former Tamara Siegel; two daughters, Ellen Plant of Baltimore and Laurie Stagnitta of Princeton, N.J.; a brother, Arnold I. Plant of Baltimore; and six grandchildren.

mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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