David A. Dannenfelser III, businessman

He co-founded Baltimore truck rental business

January 13, 2014|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

David A. Dannenfelser III, a World War II naval veteran who later co-founded a Baltimore truck rental business, died Thursday of dementia at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. He was 89.

The son of a mechanic and a homemaker, David Andrew Dannenfelser was born in Hamilton and raised in Overlea.

He attended Polytechnic Institute until his third year, when he left to go to work, family members said. He was 19 years old when he enlisted in the Navy in 1943. He married the former Rose L. Schmidt the same year.

Mr. Dannenfelser served as an electrician's mate aboard the destroyers USS Benahm and Mervine in the Pacific.

After being discharged at war's end, Mr. Dannenfelser joined his father as a mechanic's helper at Baltimore Truck Rental.

"The owner took a liking to him. He returned to night school to obtain his high school diploma and college degree at the University of Baltimore in December 1955, all the while raising his family and working up the chain to sales manager at Baltimore Truck Rental," said a daughter, Diane M. Owen of Phoenix, Baltimore County.

In 1955, father and son established Associated U-Drive-It, a Baltimore truck rental business. While Mr. Dannenfelser worked in sales, his father handled the mechanical side of the business.

In 1991, Mr. Dannenfelser sold the business and retired.

Mr. Dannenfelser had lived in Perry Hall for many years before moving to Timonium in 1964. Since 2003, he had been a resident of Mercy Ridge Retirement Community in Timonium.

Both he and his wife, who died in 2008, were inveterate golfers and were members for more than 35 years of Hillendale Country Club. They also enjoyed traveling and spending winters in Venice, Fla.

Mr. Dannenfelser was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and the Exchange Club in Towson.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at his church, 101 Church Lane, Cockeysville.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Dannenfelser is survived by two sons, David A. Dannenfelser IV of Timonium and Richard C. Dannenfelser of Grasonville; another daughter, Lynn C. Dannenfelser of Phoenix, Baltimore County; two brothers, Richard Dannenfelser of Perry Hall and Carl Dannenfelser of Abingdon; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.


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