Carl A. Heinz, a longtime U.S. Department of Labor official and an active centenarian, died Thursday of congestive heart failure at the Edenwald retirement community in Towson. He was 104.
Mr. Heinz, the son of a grocer and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised on Cecil Avenue.
He was a 1924 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned a bachelor's degree in 1928 in electrical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
After Hopkins, Mr. Heinz worked for the Brooklyn Edison Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Western Electric Corp. in Kearny, N.J., before being laid off during the Depression.
He returned to Baltimore and from 1932 until 1935 worked as a Fuller Brush and Hoover Vacuum Cleaners salesman, and finally driving a grocery delivery truck for his father. In 1935, he was hired for a temporary job with the U.S. Department of Labor.
His job, as an occupational analyst in the department's occupational research program in Washington, "turned out to be my life's work," he told Baltimore Magazine in an interview several years ago.
One of his responsibilities was overseeing the department's "Dictionary of Occupational Titles," which contained descriptions of more than 22,000 occupations and an occupational classification system.
In his autobiographical notes, Mr. Heinz said that each printing of the dictionary "ran to over 100,000 copies," which was a primary resource for the "public employment system."
Mr. Heinz retired in 1969.
The longtime Rognel Heights resident moved to Winthrop House in Guilford in 1980. In 1992, he and his wife, the former Ruth Taylor, moved to Edenwald. She died 1999 after 36 years of marriage.
Mr. Heinz enjoyed singing and continued doing so with the Edenwald Glee Club until February. He still played poker until two weeks before his death.
"He always attributed his longevity to walking and singing, but not at the same time," said his daughter, Ida May Mantel of Washington. "He was mentally sharp until he passed away."
"He was a very disciplined person. He quit smoking cigarettes when he was in his 40s, loved desserts, and every day ate one piece of dark Ghirardelli chocolate," Mrs. Mantel said. "He also liked to drink beer and wine."
He was a member of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road, Rodgers Forge.
Also surviving are a son, John C. Heinz of Ellicott City; two brothers, Edward H. Heinz of Parkville and C. Robert Heinz of Ocala, Fla.; a sister, Kathryn H. Loane of Towson; two grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.