Raymond Edward Adolph

Age 74 Longtime owner of Lutherville gas station

August 19, 2008|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN

Raymond Edward Adolph, former longtime owner of a Lutherville gas station that was popular with Colts football players, died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care. The Timonium resident was 74.

Mr. Adolph was born in Baltimore and raised in Idlewylde. He was a 1953 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and attended the Johns Hopkins University.

In the 1950s, Mr. Adolph worked with his brother, Walter G. "Mose" Adolph, who had owned and operated a Sinclair Oil Co. filling station on York Road in Govans, before purchasing a Sunoco station in Lutherville.

"He opened Ray Adolph's Sunoco on York Road and took a three-bay gas station and made it into a nine-bay service center," said his daughter, Sharon L. Simmons of Unionville, Pa.

"In 1988, he changed it to Adolph's Citgo Service Center, and later turned over the business to his sons Brian and Robert Adolph," Mrs. Simmons said.

Mr. Adolph, who relatives said called everyone "Pal," retired in 2000.

Not only did he count such legendary Colts as Johnny Unitas, Don Shula, Art Donovan and Tom Matte as customers, they also became close friends.

A Colts fan, Mr. Adolph enjoyed collecting autographed footballs that had been signed by team members.

Mr. Adolph and his wife of 39 years, the former Betty Lou Wheeler, were avid golfers. They were charter members in 1970 of the Towson Golf and Country Club and were members of the Classics Country Club in Naples, Fla., where they spent their winters since 1989.

"His passion for golf included the honor of being invited to attend the Master's golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., for eight years and playing the hallowed St. Andrews in Scotland," Mrs. Simmons said.

During his years playing golf, Mr. Adolph racked up two holes in one and shot par at the Towson Golf and Country Club.

Mr. Adolph, a Mason, had been an active member of the Optimist Club and Boumi Temple.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include his three sons, Mitchell Adolph, Robert Adolph and Brian Adolph, all of Towson; a brother, Dr. William Adolph of Owings Mills; two sisters, Phyllis Parks of Idlewylde and Patricia Holland of Parkville; and seven grandchildren.

Frederick N. Rasmussen

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