Albert Carl Grochmal, a retired sales manager for a trucking business who was a standout high school athlete, died of respiratory failure May 3 at St. Agnes Hospital. The Catonsville resident was 95.
Born in Baltimore and raised on East Pratt Street near Patterson Park, he attended St. Elizabeth of Hungary School. Family members said he spent hours playing sports in the park. When he graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1933, he was a star athlete. He played lacrosse, soccer, baseball, football and basketball at the varsity level. He was the quarterback in two celebrated games between Poly and City College.
The Nov. 19, 1932, contest between the two academic rivals ended in a 0-0 score. A week later, the result was scoreless a second time.
"After three hours of frigid football, with a wild north wind playing havoc with kicks and passes, Polytechnic left the Stadium yesterday in possession of the ball, but sharing honors with City College in another scoreless contest," The Sun said on Nov. 27, 1932.
Mr. Grochmal was later inducted into Polytechnic's Athletic Hall of Fame.
He attended the University of Baltimore for a year, but left school after his father's death to help support his mother and six siblings.
He married his longtime neighborhood sweetheart, Mary Elizabeth Hudert, in June 1939.
He became a trucking company sales manager and worked for Kane Transfer and T.I.E. Trucking before joining Service Trucking Company. He spent eight years in New York City — and lived in Livingston, N. J. — and returned to Baltimore in 1967 to raise his youngest daughter.
"He wanted her to grow up in Baltimore," said his daughter Christine M. Boyle of Catonsville. "He just loved Baltimore."
He followed local sports, including the Orioles, Colts and Ravens. He also hosted family gatherings that featured steamed crabs around the kitchen table.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include two sons, Paul J. Grochmal and Dr. Jay C. Grochmal, and another daughter, Mary Regina Grochmal, all of Catonsville; 14 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren. His wife of 67 years died in 2006.
Mr. Grochmal was a longtime communicant of St. Mark Catholic Church in Catonsville, where a Mass was offered May 8.