Robert H. Bouse Sr. (Baltimore Sun )
Robert H. Bouse Sr., the retired Circuit Court for Baltimore City clerk who later became a chief deputy clerk at the federal Bankruptcy Court of Maryland, died of cancer Feb. 28 at Gilchrist Hospice Care. He was 91.
He was the son of John H. Bouse, former state senator who was also Baltimore's register of wills. Mr. Bouse, a Baltimore native, spent his life in the same home on South Ann Street in Fells Point.
He was a 1936 Mount Saint Joseph High School graduate and attended Loyola College and the University of Baltimore Law School.
His future wife, Frances Rozenkowski, lived just down the street from him. They were married in 1941.
During World War II, Mr. Bouse joined the Army and was assigned to the 175th Infantry of the 29th Division. After becoming a sergeant, he attended officer candidate school at Fort Benning, Ga., and was reassigned as a second lieutenant in an infantry division. He landed in Africa before crossing the Mediterranean to go to Italy.
Mr. Bouse spent 15 months in the Italian campaign. He fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino. On Dec. 26, 1944, while his battalion was under attack, he moved from position to position to encourage his men and change their positions, according to his discharge papers. He was later awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Clusters. The citation was presented on the battlefield by Maj. Gen. E.M. Almond. After the war, Mr. Bouse remained in the service in the Army Reserve and retired after 29 years as a lieutenant colonel.
After the war, he returned to work at the Superior Court of Baltimore City. He was a writ clerk, non-jury clerk and a jury clerk. He rose to become deputy clerk in the city judicial system's assignment office. In 1957 he was appointed a chief clerk of the Superior Court under James F. Carney.
In 1968 he became clerk of the Superior Court with Mr. Carney's retirement in 1968. He ran successfully for election as clerk of the court and was re-elected twice. His name appears on thousands of mortgages and deeds filed in Baltimore City at that time.
Mr. Bouse was defeated in 1980 when he sought a fourth term. Judge James F. Schneider then appointed him to the federal Bankruptcy Court as chief deputy clerk. Mr. Bouse held the post until his retirement in 1985.
At a retirement dinner for Mr. Bouse, Judge Harvey M. Lebowitz said other attorneys spoke highly of him.
"While you were the deputy clerk, I knew absolutely nothing about pleadings and was told by other attorneys to see Bob Bouse. He can show you how to do it. That was probably the best advice I ever got. I cannot tell you how many pleadings I filed based on what you showed and told me," Lebowitz told him.
"In those days, the Superior Court of Baltimore City was one of the best run and well-organized courts in the state, and perhaps the country. It was due to you," Lebowitz said.
Mr. Bouse's son, Robert H. Bouse Jr., a senior partner in the law firm of Anderson, Coe and King, said members of the legal community gave credit to the clerk.
"It is amazing that even after all the years after my dad's retirement how many lawyers and judges remember him and state how much he helped them in the early part of their careers," his son said.
Mr. Bouse, a Democrat, was involved in city and state politics. He was a founder of the Quo Vadis Democratic Club in the 1st District of Baltimore City and served as its president numerous times. The club was located in the 1700 block of Fleet St. It disbanded in 2010.
Mr. Bouse also was active in St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church on Broadway and was a past parish council president. He later became a member of St. Brigid Church, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Friday.
In addition to his son, survivors include a daughter, Kathy Ann Fuchs of Hereford, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His wife of 54 years died in 1995.