Larry P. Preller, construction firm owner

He had been a tank operator during World War II

  • Larry Preller
Larry Preller
February 26, 2011|By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun

Larry P. Preller, who owned and operated a construction business and was a tank operator during World War II, died of congestive heart failure Feb. 18 at his Mount Washington home. He was 86.

Born Lawrence Preller in Baltimore and raised on Sinclair Lane, he attended Mount St. Joseph High School.

At 17, he enlisted in the Army during World War II and was part of the 41st Tank Division of Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army. Family members said he crossed Europe in a tank and was among the first troops to liberate the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

After the war, he was an Ocean City beach photographer for several summers. In 1947, he founded the Lance Contracting Co. on 29th Street. The business is now in Roland Park.

Mr. Preller was a member of the Notre Dame Council of the Knights of Columbus and was its past Grand Knight. He acted in local plays, enjoyed travel and sailed the Chesapeake Bay.

A Mass was offered Tuesday at Shrine of the Sacred Heart, where he was a Eucharistic minister.

Survivors include his wife of 18 years, the former Doris R. Lilley; three sons, Joseph W. Preller of Roland Park, Christopher Adam Preller of Rodgers Forge and Patrick S. Preller of Baltimore; three daughters, Deborah M. Gelin of Owings Mills, Rita M. Preller of Stoneleigh and Lauren Preller of Rodgers Forge; a stepson, Robert H. Ways of Severn; three stepdaughters, June O. Jacoby of Abingdon, Janelle D. Deitz of Stockbridge, Ga., and Donna L. Hoffman of Pikesville; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. His wife of 44 years, Marie Rusk, died in 1989. A son, Lance P. Preller, died in 2004.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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