Geoffrey William Fielding, retired head of public relations for the Baltimore County Public Library system, died of rheumatoid arthritis complications Wednesday at Good Samaritan Hospital. The North Baltimore resident was 82.
Born in Nottingham, England, he attended Loughborough College School and served in the British merchant navy from 1941 to 1947.
He emigrated to Baltimore in 1947 and wrote for The Sunday Sun feature sections until 1950. He then worked for the old Joseph Katz advertising agency and at the Baltimore Association of Commerce.
Mr. Fielding became director of public relations for the Walters Art Gallery in 1961. He led overseas art tours for gallery members and also initiated a lecture series at the nearby Stafford Hotel.
In 1967, he was named chief of public relations for the county libraries, a post he held until he retired in 1984.
"Geoff did a great deal of good for the library to bring its work before the public," said Charles Robinson, retired library director. "He had a tremendous sense of humor, a British sense of humor, and people appreciated that."
Mr. Fielding wrote numerous freelance articles for The Sun, the old News American and Maryland Magazine, where he wrote a food column.
He was a past president of Baltimore Bibliophiles, the Maryland Horticultural Society and the Roland Park Swimming Pool. He had also been a Roland Park Civic League board member.
Mr. Fielding was an enthusiastic gardener of perennial and annual flowers and vegetables at a Roland Park home he owned for many years. He also kept bees for a time.
He enjoyed cooking traditional English cakes and desserts and made preserves and jams from his own grapes. He also collected toy trains and memorabilia, English cigarette cards, paper ephemera and art.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on St. Thomas Lane in Owings Mills.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, the former Claudia Rose; a son, Christopher Pell Fielding of Arlington, Va.; three daughters, Robin Fielding Boyer of Silver Spring, and Margaret Fairfax Fielding and Meredith Fielding Bower, both of Baltimore; a sister, Margaret Scott of Norfolk, England; and seven grandchildren.