Joseph H. Cieri dies at 85

World War II veteran was transportation manager for shipboard engineers union

December 07, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

Joseph H. Cieri, a retired transportation manager and farmer, died Nov. 29 of lung cancer at his Westminster home. He was 85.

Joseph Harry Cieri, the son of a tailor and a homemaker and the youngest of eight children, was born and raised in East Baltimore. He attended city public schools.

During World War II, Mr. Cieri served in the Navy as a seaman aboard the cruiser USS Providence.

After the war, he returned to Baltimore and in 1947 married Emma Frances Jewer. The couple settled in Dundalk, where they raised their family.

In 1951, Mr. Cieri became a certified automobile mechanic and a licensed tractor-trailer driver.

He was employed for 19 years as transportation manager for the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, the union that represents most U.S. shipboard engineers.

After retiring in 1986, Mr. Cieri and his wife, who was a retired Baltimore Sun telephone operator, moved to a 6-acre farm in Graves Mill, Va. Since 2003, they have lived in Westminster.

Mr. Cieri enjoyed refinishing antique furniture, boating and fishing. He was a daily newspaper reader and liked to study current events.

"He had a passion for doing 1,000-piece puzzles, which after completing, he'd wood glue and frame," said a daughter, Mary Frances Blackburn of Westminster.

He was an avid fan of the old Baltimore Colts and later the Ravens.

Mr. Cieri was a former communicant of Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church in Dundalk, and at his death was a parishioner of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Westminster, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Friday.

Also surviving in addition to his wife and daughter are two sons, Joseph J. Cieri of Graves Mill and John J. Cieri of Santa Maria, Calif.; another daughter, Melody C. Higgins of Westminster; and eight grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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