Paul Bilger Jr., owned nursery business


Paul Bilger Jr., a retired nurseryman and former owner of Bilgers' Long Green Nurseries, died of gastric cancer Feb. 25 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Lutherville resident was 78.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Bilger was raised near Lake Montebello. He was a 1948 graduate of Friends School and served in the Naval Reserves at Fort McHenry from 1948 to 1949.

After being discharged from the reserves for medical reasons, he earned a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry from the University of Maryland in 1952.

He began his career as an assistant herdsman at Good Fellowship Farms on Cromwell Bridge Road, and then took a job as an assistant branch manager at Equitable Bank's Northwood location.

In 1959, Mr. Bilger established Bilgers' Shrub Fair at Pot Spring and Dulaney Valley roads, where he did landscaping and sold produce and shrubs. He later changed its name to Bilgers' Long Green Nurseries.

Mr. Bilger closed the business and retired in 2004.

He was a longtime member and former president of the Optimist Club of Loch Raven, and was Optimist International vice president from 1976 to 1977.

During the early 1970s, he was Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 750 at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson.

Mr. Bilger was an avid duckpin bowler and Ravens and Orioles fan.

Since 1981, he had been a member of Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium.

Services were held Saturday.

Surviving are his wife of 50 years, the former Elizabeth "Betty" Rosenberger; three sons, Paul Bilger III of Towson, Kevin Bilger of Timonium and S. Todd Bilger of Lutherville; two daughters, Denise A. Bilger and Janine B. Bunch, both of Edenton, N.C.; a sister, Betty J. Coale of DeLand, Fla.; six grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren.

Frederick N. Rasmussen

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