C. Earl Tingstrom Jr., medical lab owner, dies

Boater who fulfilled lifelong dream of owning a boat

  • Earl Tingstrom
Earl Tingstrom
March 01, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

C. Earl "Earl the Pearl" Tingstrom Jr., former owner of a Baltimore medical laboratory who enjoyed boating on the Chesapeake Bay, died Feb. 16 of a massive stroke at Stella Maris Hospice. He was 80.

The son of a General Electric Corp. tool and dye maker and a seamstress, Mr. Tingstrom was born in Philadelphia. In 1932, his family moved to Curtis Bay, and he later grew up in Westport and Brooklyn.

Mr. Tingstrom, who was known as "Earl the Pearl" by family and friends, was a 1949 graduate of Southern High School and Baltimore Junior College, where he met and fell in love with the former Catherine Evans, whom he married in 1954.

After he interned at the old Lutheran Hospital, he went to work for Dr. Solomon Sherman, who had established Sherman Laboratories on Eutaw Street in 1927. It provided laboratory services to hundreds of physicians and patients. It later moved to Pikesville and then Eudowood.

When Dr. Sherman died, he willed the business to Mr. Tingstrom, who expanded it to 12 laboratories statewide. He sold the business and retired in 1984.

"From home care visits to teaching phlebotomy skills and laboratory procedures, he was always there to mentor his employees," said a daughter, Brenda Tingstrom of Philadelphia. "His generosity and love of helping people inspired many family members to pursue careers in medical and social services."

Mr. Tingstrom was 7 years old when he lost his hearing in a wrestling accident, his daughter said.

"He was able to adapt amazingly to a hearing world through lip reading," Ms. Tingstrom said.

He was an active member and a former president of the Baltimore chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America, which advocates for the rights of the hearing-impaired.

Mr. Tingstrom turned the backyard of his Towson home into a playground that was complete with a tree house, seesaws and even a roller coaster that he had built.

Mr. Tingstrom fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a boat when he purchased the Plasma Suite, a 35-foot Senator trawler. He was a member of the Dundalk Power Squadron.

He was an active member for 43 years of Maryland Presbyterian Church, where he had been an elder. A memorial service was held Saturday at his church.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Tingstrom is survived by a son, Eric Tingstrom of Sarasota, Fla.; three other daughters, Karen Wadding of Overlea, Ginsy Nehmer of Towson, Pat Diehl of Paulsboro, N.J.; a sister, Beverly Dorsey of Cumberland; and two grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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