Charles Kamphaus, 77

Athlete, Beth Steel engineer

January 21, 2007

Charles H. "Sogger" Kamphaus, a retired Bethlehem Steel employee who played sandlot football as a teenager, died of heart failure Monday at his Bel Air home. He was 77.

A 1937 graduate of Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Kamphaus was a halfback for the Bradford Cardinals, a sandlot football team that played in city parks, said his brother, Donald W. Kamphaus of Parkville. Lillian A. Zaoralek, a neighborhood friend who would become his wife, was a cheerleader for the team.

As a young man, he played the part of Socrates in a play at Bethany Lutheran Church in East Baltimore. The name stuck, although it gradually changed to "Sogger," his brother said.

FOR THE RECORD - The obituary for Charles H. "Sogger" Kamphaus in yesterday's editions misstated his age. He was 87 years old. The Sun regrets the error.

Mr. Kamphaus was awarded a scholarship to the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied civil engineering until he was drafted into the Navy. He served as a seaman first class aboard the USS Wharton in the Pacific during World War II.

Upon returning home, he worked for Bethlehem Steel as a civil engineer and served as a member of the board of directors of Slavie Federal Savings Bank of Baltimore. He completed a degree in civil engineering at Hopkins in 1960.

In his free time, he enjoyed woodworking, and in his workshop crafted gifts such as flowerpot stands. More than 40 years ago, he built a grandfather clock that still runs today, his brother said.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

In addition to his brother and his wife of 64 years, he is survived by a son, Eric C. Kamphaus of Bel Air; and two grandchildren.

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