Franklin D'Alesandro, 73

Courthouse clerk

February 22, 2007

Franklin D. Roosevelt D'Alesandro, a retired city courthouse clerk and member of the family that includes two former Baltimore mayors and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, died of cancer yesterday at the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Hamilton resident was 73.

Known as Roosie, he was born in Baltimore on March 7, 1933 - shortly after the first inauguration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for whom he was named.

He was the second son of Annunciata and Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., who was mayor of Baltimore from 1947 to 1959 and earlier served in the House of Representatives.

Raised in the family's Little Italy home, he was a graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School and attended Loyola College.

In 1953 and 1954, Mr. D'Alesandro was in the headlines when he was arrested at the age of 20 and subsequently acquitted in trials on charges of rape and perjury.

He soon married his longtime sweetheart, Mary Ann Jankowski, and they had two daughters.

For many years, Mr. D'Alesandro worked in the land records section of the Baltimore Court House.

"He was a mentor to young title searchers, and he helped stabilize that department," said his older brother, Thomas J. D'Alesandro III, who served as mayor from 1967 to 1971. "He helped people working there go from working with pens on paper, through the era of the typewriter to the computer."

"He was an agreeable sort of guy who did his job well," former Baltimore Chief Circuit Court Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan said yesterday. "He didn't complain and was always very pleasant."

"As a brother, friend, and adviser, Roosie always advocated a gentle approach, no matter how drastic the disagreement," Ms. Pelosi, the San Francisco congresswoman, said in a statement sent by her deputy press secretary.

"Roosie died as he had lived, surrounded by his family, loved by his friends, grateful for God's blessings on his life, and prepared to meet our parents and brothers in Heaven," she said.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church, 227 S. Exeter St.

In addition to his wife, brother and sister, survivors include his daughters, Rose Ann D'Alesandro of Baltimore and Deborah Ignatowski of Lutherville; another brother, Nicholas D'Alesandro of Baltimore; and two granddaughters. Three brothers are deceased.

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