Bruce Wondersek, 62

Avid reader, writer

February 12, 2007

Bruce M. Wondersek, a reclusive writer who spent most of the days of his adult life at the public library, died of throat cancer Tuesday at the Joseph Ritchie Hospice in Baltimore. He was 62.

Raised in eastern Baltimore County, Mr. Wondersek was a 1962 graduate of Parkville High School and received his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1968.

He worked at Bethlehem Steel for nine years in the 1970s, but spent most of his time reading and writing at the North Point Library in Dundalk, said a brother, Karl W. Wondersek Jr. of Staunton, Va.

"He told me last week that he had read every book in the library that was worth reading," his brother said.

A frugal man, Mr. Wondersek made ends meet by working odd jobs and living in his parents' Dundalk home, his brother said.

"He reminded me a bit of Mark Twain in his later years," his brother said. "He had a lot to say about politics. He was an observer of human nature."

His brother discovered Mr. Wondersek's longest written work, an unpublished 300-page novel titled Irene Stoddlmeyer, among his belongings after his death.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

Survivors also include his mother, May V. Wondersek of Fisherville, Va., and another brother, Richard A. Wondersek of Roeland Park, Kan.

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