George J. Panzer, a retired Western Electric cable specialist and jeweler who was a decorated World War II veteran, died of complications from lung disease Saturday at Oak Crest Village. The former Dundalk resident was 91.
Born in Baltimore, he was the son of a pickle and sauerkraut maker and grew up near Patterson Park. He was a 1931 graduate of St. Michael's Parochial School and attended the Marianist Brothers Preparatory School in Beacon, N.Y.
He was a bicycle messenger for Western Union and the Radio Corp. of America before joining Western Electric at its Point Breeze works.
During World War II he served in the Army in the infantry and fought in the Ardennes and the Rhineland. He received a Bronze Star for "meritorious achievement in ground action against the enemy," according to Army records.
After the war, he returned to Western Electric and worked in its cable operation. He was assigned to its long-lines department and worked on ships in the North Atlantic as a joiner and splicer.
He retired in 1982 as an associate engineer. He was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.
Mr. Panzer also worked at the Prince Jewelry Co. in downtown Baltimore and set diamonds in rings. He also had a clock repair business and for a year he had a contract to repair clocks at the governor's Annapolis home.
After moving to Oak Crest Village in 1996, he did free jewelry repairs for fellow residents and asked that his fees be donated to a church.
"He scoured flea markets on Saturdays and bought old jewelry that he cleaned and repaired," said a daughter, Nancy McHugh of Cub Hill. "He then gave it away to churches and nursing homes for fundraisers and bingo prizes."
A memorial Mass will be offered at 2 p.m. Sunday at Oak Crest Village chapel, 8800 Walther Blvd.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include another daughter, Geraldine Kanu of Virginia; two grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters. His wife of 49 years, the former Jacqueline Smith, died in 1990.