Charles T. Erdman, Bethlehem Steel manager

November 24, 2008|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN

Charles T. Erdman Jr., a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. manager and Navy veteran, died Nov. 17 of heart failure at his Arnold home. He was 80.

Mr. Erdman, who was born and raised in East Baltimore, was a graduate of Patterson High School. He served in the Navy as a radio operator aboard the USS Caloosahatchee, a fleet oiler, from 1945 until 1948.

In 1948, Mr. Erdman went to work for Bethlehem Steel's Buffalo Tank Division. During his 40-year career he held management positions at the company's plants at Sparrows Point, Buffalo, N.Y., Hallandale, Fla., and Dunellen, N.J.

He was working in Baltimore when he retired in 1988.

After retiring, Mr. Erdman worked as an independent consultant and was recognized as an expert on leaking underground steel storage tanks. He was called upon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assist in drafting legislation regarding underground storage tanks and was also a member of a committee that advised the State of Maryland on standards for such tanks. His work earned him a Tawes Award for a Clean Environment, an award named for the late Maryland Gov. J. Millard Tawes.

"He enjoyed telling people he specialized in L.U.S.T.," said a daughter, Deborah L. Vaught of Tampa, Fla.

Mr. Erdman had been a member of the Hamburg (N.Y.) Rod and Gun Club.

A resident of Arnold for 25 years, he enjoyed collecting tools and woodworking.

Services were held Friday.

Also surviving are his wife of 59 years, the former Dorothy L. Gordy; a son, Michael R. Erdman of Wasilla, Alaska; another daughter, Patricia A. DeJacma of Centreville; and seven grandchildren.

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