George W. Bookhout Jr., USF&G executive

He had served in the Navy during World War II

February 03, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

George William Bookhout Jr., a retired United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. executive and World War II veteran, died Jan. 20 of heart failure at the Oak Crest Village retirement community.

He was 90.

The son of a Realtor and a homemaker, Mr. Bookhout was born and raised in Dallas. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1938, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1942 from Southern Methodist University.

While attending Harvard Business School, he was active in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program, until leaving Harvard to enlist in the Navy in 1942.

Commissioned a lieutenant, he served in communications in the Pacific, including duty stations in Brisbane, Australia, and San Francisco, where he decoded and encoded messages from the Pacific fleet.

After being discharged in 1945, he joined USF&G's Dallas office as an underwriter trainee. In 1956, he was transferred to Baltimore, where he was a superintendent in the company's casualty department.

He rose to senior vice president of USF&G's underwriting departments and held that position until retiring in 1982.

The longtime Gaywood resident moved to Boca Raton, Fla., in 1988 and returned to Baltimore in 2008. For the past two years, he had lived at the Parkville retirement community.

Mr. Bookhout was a member for 35 years of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, where he had chaired the church's capital giving campaign to restore the church's sanctuary.

An avid sailor, he enjoyed sailing the Chesapeake Bay aboard the Mustang, named for SMU's mascot.

"He also sailed the Intercoastal Waterway to Florida," said a daughter, Marjorie W. Bookhout of Gaywood.

Services were held Saturday at his church.

Also surviving are another daughter, Winifred Gill of Lutherville; a brother, John G. Bookhout of Dallas; and a grandson. A marriage to the former Louise Goodloe ended in divorce.

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