C. Edward Utermohle Jr., a retired Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. president who helped bring the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant to completion, died of Parkinson's disease Thursday at the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson. The former Fox Chapel resident was 94.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Windsor Hills, he was a 1933 graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He received a degree in mechanical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Utermohle joined Baltimore Gas & Electric in 1934 and remained with the utility for more than 50 years. He worked initially at its Spring Gardens operation in South Baltimore.
Mr. Utermohle rose through the company's ranks and was named vice president of gas operations in 1955. In 1965, he was elected BGE's vice president and later became president. He retired in 1980 as chairman and chief executive officer and served another four years on its board of directors.
In the mid-1960, he and others began planning the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power station.
"He was a visionary," said George McGowan, BGE's former president and chairman. "He saw the need for additional power and being an engineer, he understood the potential for providing energy at reasonable cost and at minimal environmental risk."
Friends recalled that Mr. Utermohle was known to answer his own phone and listen to customer complaints. When a BGE patron complained that repairmen had failed to fix a dishwasher properly twice, Mr. Utermohle drove to the home and fixed it himself.
"He was a down-to-earth person," McGowan said. "You put the facts on the table and he would deal with them in a very straightforward and fair way. He was a good leader and gave of his time to community projects."
Mr. Utermohle was formerly a board member of the Allied Irish Bank, the American Red Cross, United States Fidelity and Guaranty, the Maryland Academy of Sciences, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Augsburg Lutheran Home. He sat on the Goucher College and Johns Hopkins University boards of trustees.
Survivors include his wife of 70 years, the former Mildred Wicks; a son, C. Edward Utermohle III of Monkton; and three grandchildren.
Services are private.