John P. Rockstroh, 69

Steel plant supervisor

July 12, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

John P. "Rocky" Rockstroh Sr., a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. supervisor and a senior partner in a firm that specialized in helping businesses reorganize, died Tuesday of lung cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care. The Sparks resident was 69.

Mr. Rockstroh was born in Baltimore and raised on Foster Avenue in Highlandtown.

He was a 1957 graduate of City College and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola College in 1976.

He was an Army reservist.

From 1957 to 1966, Mr. Rockstroh managed Earl Scheib automobile paint shops in Baltimore and Washington, and sold forklifts for S.W. Betz Co.

In 1966, he went to work at the Bethlehem Steel factory at Sparrows Point in the hot strip mill and was supervisor of personnel development at the time of his retirement in 1999.

Mr. Rockstroh studied sociotechnical system designs at McGill University and at Goldratt Institute in New Haven, Conn.

He later became a partner in Beyond The Box Inc., a company that assists businesses in reorganizing their operations, family members said.

"His clients spanned almost every segment of business, both private and public, government, manufacturing and service organizations," said a son, John P. Rockstroh Jr. of Perry Hall.

Mr. Rockstroh had been a member of the board of the Maryland Center for Quality and Productivity and was a former director of the American Society for Performance Improvement, and had been president of the organization's Maryland chapter.

He was a member and four-time president of the Engineers Club of Sparrows Point.

The former Hamilton resident, who moved to Sparks in 1990, was a University of Maryland basketball fan, his son said.

Mr. Rockstroh was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 8420 Belair Road, Fullerton, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today.

Also surviving are his wife of 45 years, the former Stephanie Popoli; another son, Matthew M. Rockstroh of Phoenix, Baltimore County; a brother, Thomas J. Rockstroh of Severna Park; a sister, Joan C. Rockstroh of Selbyville. Del.; and four grandchildren.

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