J. Ray Duerling, paper firm accountant

March 14, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

J. Ray Duerling, a retired paper company accountant and a ham radio operator, died Wednesday of complications from Alzheimer's disease at Oak Crest Village. The former Fallston resident was 91.

Mr. Duerling was born in Baltimore and raised on Harford Road. He was a 1933 graduate of City College. During World War II, he served with an infantry unit in Italy.

After the war, he studied accounting on the GI Bill of Rights through a correspondence school, family members said.

Mr. Duerling went to work for Lord Baltimore Press and in 1958 moved to the company's office in Clinton, Iowa.

When the Mississippi River crested at more than 25 feet and a flood inundated Clinton in 1965, Mr. Duerling, a ham radio operator, helped coordinate all radio operations during the disaster.

Mr. Duerling's efforts earned him a certificate of commendation, and he was featured on the cover of QST, a national amateur radio operators' magazine.

After International Paper purchased Lord Baltimore Press, he moved to Fallston. He retired in 1981.

A resident of the Parkville retirement community since 2001, Mr. Duerling was a member of Fallston United Methodist Church.

For many years, he volunteered as the sound man at the church, producing audiotapes of services that were distributed to shut-in members.

His wife of 67 years, the former Dorothea "Dottie" Beigel, died in 2007.

A memorial service will be held at noon today in the Oak Crest Chapel, 8832 Walther Blvd.

Surviving are two sons, Dennis Duerling of Clinton, Iowa, and David Duerling of Bel Air; a sister, Dot Baker of Parkville; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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