Robert Gamble James, Civil Engineer

April 28, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Robert Gamble James, a retired civil engineer who was a founding partner of a Towson engineering firm, died of a pulmonary hemorrhage April 20 at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. He was 76 and lived in Bel Air.

Mr. James was born and raised in Detroit, where he graduated in 1951 from Mackenzie High School.

He earned a civil engineering degree in 1955 from Wayne State University and a master's degree in the discipline from Michigan State University in 1966.

After serving in the Army in the late 1950s, he went to work as a civil engineer for the city of Detroit. In 1968, he moved to Glen Arm when he joined Green Associates, a Towson engineering firm.

In 1974, Mr. James was one of the founding partners in Century Engineering Inc. in Towson.

During his years with the firm, he played an integral role in the design and construction of the Washington Metro, the Kent Narrows U.S. 50 bridge and the Back River sewage treatment facility in Baltimore County.

After leaving the firm in 1989, he worked as an engineer for Gannett Fleming Co. and as a consultant to the Baltimore Department of Public Works until retiring in 1999.

A Bel Air resident since 2000, Mr. James was an accomplished watercolorist who enjoyed painting still lifes and portraits.

He also enjoyed volunteering at the Abingdon public library.

Mr. James was an active communicant of St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church, 1450 Abingdon Road, Abingdon, where a memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. May 23.

Surviving are his wife of 45 years, the former Ellen M. Sabo; a son, Stephen R. James of Washington; two daughters, Janet C. James of Waynesboro, Va., and Christine M. Bruns of Shakopee, Minn.; a sister, Isabel Bath of Bloomfield, Mich.; and five grandchildren.

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