Mr. Geddes — C. Lee Geddes, who during his more than three-decade career as project manager for the Harford County Parks and Recreation Department helped bring to fruition numerous award-winning waterfront projects throughout the county, died of a heart attack Monday at his Aberdeen home. He was 66.
Mr. Geddes - who preferred to be known as Bob Lee Geddes - was born in Reading, Pa., and raised in nearby Shillington, Pa., where he graduated from Governor Mifflin High School in 1959.
He was also a graduate of the Columbia School for the Arts in Philadelphia, where he studied broadcasting.
From 1960 to 1975, he was a radio announcer for WAMD-AM radio in Aberdeen, where he was "well-known for his unique voice style and sense of humor," said his wife of 43 years, the former Bonnie Lynn McKinney.
Even though he went to work with Harford County Parks and Recreation in 1975, Mr. Geddes continued to emcee numerous award programs, including Miss Teen Harford County pageants for 25 years, and the annual Harford Awards programs.
Mr. Geddes also narrated promotional films and public service announcements and was on the advisory board of Harford Cable Network for many years.
During his years at Parks and Recreation, Mr. Geddes worked on projects such as the Havre de Grace Promenade, Mariner Point Park in Joppatowne, Swan Harbor Farm, a 503-acre park in Havre de Grace and Flying Point Park in Edgewood.
He also helped develop the Ma and Pa Trail on the right of way of the old Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad, which once coursed through Harford.
"Bob was an expert in waterfront improvement projects and ... he liked being on the water, so they were easy projects for him to work on," said Joseph E. Pfaff, director of Harford County Recreation and Parks.
"If anything had to do with water, he was the guy. He also was responsible for all dredging projects," he said.
Mr. Pfaff said typical elements that were incorporated into his projects were walking trails, pavilions, boat launching piers, picnic areas and sports facilities such as tennis, volleyball courts and horseshoe pits.
"He was both kindhearted and a very much hands-on project manager," Mr. Pfaff said. "He really enjoyed what he did and had a passion for it."
Bob Chance, seasonal naturalist at Swan Harbor, was a longtime friend.
"Bob was the mastermind behind so many recreation projects, and then he'd go out and secure millions of dollars of grant money for them," Mr. Chance said yesterday.
"He put everything he had into his work and was truly an amazing man. His footprint is all over Harford County and the scope of what he created is immeasurable," he said.
In 1995, when President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were visiting the Havre de Grace Promenade as part of the 25th-anniversary celebration of Earth Day, Mr. Geddes was selected to accompany them.
When Tropical Storm Isabel wrecked the promenade in Havre de Grace in 2003, Mr. Geddes, along with local residents and volunteers from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, helped restore the popular walkway during three months of hard work.
"By Sept. 19, the anniversary of Isabel, it will be back," Mr. Geddes told The Sun in a 2004 interview.
When the Maryland Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects presented him its parks and recreation facility award for his work at Mariner Point Park, they described the facility as a "most uniquely beautiful and functional park facility."
"The key to Bob Lee Geddes was his ability to work with people and never leaving a job undone," said Todd Holden, a photographer and former Aegis reporter, who was a longtime friend.
Mr. Geddes was a member of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-4 in Edgewood.
An avid boater, Mr. Geddes and his wife enjoyed sailing the bay aboard the Bonnie Lee, their 32-foot Trojan Sport Fisherman.
He was a member of Immanuel United Church of Christ in Shillington.
Services were held Friday.
Also surviving are a nephew and three nieces.