John M. Bond

Age 90 Retired editor and Mencken Society treasurer was an avid reader and played keyboard and organ music.

July 24, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun Reporter

John Meredith Bond, a retired editor who had worked in the publications department at Peterson, Howell and Heather and longtime treasurer of the Mencken Society, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at Gilchrist Hospice Care. The Roland Park resident was 90.

Mr. Bond was born in Baltimore and lived in Ruxton before moving with his family to Roland Park in 1926.

He was a 1935 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and attended Loyola College during the early 1950s.

After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1943, he became co-owner of Bond Brothers, a Eutaw Street commercial photography firm, with his brother, Edwin Bond.

During the 1950s, Mr. Bond worked in public relations and as an industrial editor for the American Cancer Society and Goucher College before joining Peterson, Howell and Heather, the Baltimore fleet leasing firm, in 1960.

FOR THE RECORD - An obituary for John Meredith Bond in Thursday's editions of The Sun and a correction published in yesterday's editions incorrectly listed services. A memorial gathering will be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 2 at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St. The Sun regrets the errors.
An obituary for John Meredith Bond in yesterday's editions of The Sun incorrectly listed services. A memorial gathering will be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St.
The Sun regrets the error.

Mr. Bond was an editor in the company's publications department for 23 years until retiring in 1983.

"He was hired to edit our weekly newsletter that went to our customers each week, and I worked with him closely because he didn't know the business at first," said S. Paul Lafley, who retired from PHH as a senior account executive and now lives in Hanover, Pa.

"I proofread and contributed to the newsletter, and helped Jack make sure it was something our customers could understand," he said. "He was an exceedingly intelligent and well-read. He was always a good guy to be with."

Mr. Bond had been a director of the Middle Atlantic Association of Industrial Editors and was a member and treasurer for a decade of the Baltimore Publication Relations Council.

"He had a passion for print journalism," said his daughter, M. Elizabeth Cockey of Timonium. "He would read anything from the back of a cereal box to an encyclopedia and mostly read nonfiction, particularly biographies and American history."

"On the fiction side, he had a particular interest in Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, Mark Twain and, most recently, Dorothy L. Sayers."

Mr. Bond also enjoyed reading and collecting the works of H.L. Mencken and, as an active member of the Mencken Society, had been the organization's treasurer for 20 years.

"Dedicated and meticulous treasurer for the Mencken Society over many years, I'm not even sure when Jack took the job. He managed to maintain both impressive and extensive index-card files and multiple Excel-spreadsheet records of the membership and its renewal rates," said Dr. Robert J. Brugger, author and Johns Hopkins University Press history and regional editor.

"His basement office on Timonium Road looked like something out of Charles Dickens," Dr. Brugger said. "But he didn't cling to the filing cabinets and pigeonholes; he knew what he was up against and spoke out strongly in favor of the latest in electronic labor-saving software."

Dr. Vincent dePaul Fitzpatrick III, a Baltimore teacher and author, is the curator of the H.L. Mencken Collection at the Enoch Pratt Free Library and an old friend.

"He valued the life of the mind, and he had a great sense of humor," Dr. Fitzpatrick said.

Mr. Bond, a longtime Roland Park resident, moved to Timonium in the 1990s, then to Roland Park Place in 2005.

An inveterate newspaper reader, Mr. Bond was also a prolific contributor of letters to the editor.

A favored gift, family members said, was an out-of-town newspaper, and he also enjoyed collecting comic strips and cartoons, especially those from the post-World War I era.

He played the keyboard by ear and later became interested in organ music and volunteered to care for an unused organ he found after moving to the Roland Park retirement community.

His musical tastes included classical, light opera - a particular favorite was Gilbert and Sullivan - jazz, choral and Broadway show music.

Mr. Bond's wife of 59 years, the former Agness Cator Fulton, died this year.

A memorial gathering for Mr. Bond will be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St.

Also surviving are two sons, William W. Bond of Baltimore and Richard F. Bond of Grasonville; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Meredith Kane, died in 2006.

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