Arthur E. Dase

Arthur E. Dase ( / July 28, 2011)

Arthur E. Dase, a retired Chessie System supervisor and longtime Greater Baltimore Medical Center volunteer, died May 19 of heart failure at his winter home in Seminole, Fla. He was 91.

"I always thought that Arthur was devoted to two things: his family and the railroad," said Robert W. "Bob" Breiner, who worked for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and later Chessie System. "He was also well-liked by the other railroaders."

The son of John Dase, a toolmaker, and Leona Dase, a homemaker, Arthur Earl Dase was born in Springfield, Ohio. When he was a child, he moved with his family to Dayton, Ohio.

After graduating in 1941 from Patterson High School, he began his more than four-decade railroad career working in the payroll department of the B&O in Dayton.

During World War II, he briefly served with the Army Air Corps at Coral Gables, Fla., before being discharged for health reasons. He then returned to the B&O.

After earning a degree in accounting in 1950 from Miami Jacobs College in Dayton, the B&O transferred Mr. Dase to its maintenance of way department in Cincinnati. In 1963, he was promoted to supervisor of payroll and sent to what was then B&O/C&O Railroad's headquarters building in Baltimore.

"I first met Art about 1960 when he was on a job on the Indianapolis Division as a traveling auditor. I took him around to the various sales offices and we hit it off right away. He was a very likable guy," recalled Mr. Breiner, who lives in Timonium.

"When you work for a railroad, you're like a nomad, and we were transferred around and eventually we both came to Baltimore and we resumed our friendship," he said.

Mr. Dase was a longtime member of RABO, a B&O, CSX and Western Maryland Railway retirement organization. Last year, the organization presented him with a gold watch in honor of his 90th birthday.

Family members said Mr. Dase's favorite expression was, "I've been working on the railroad for 44 years."

Mr. Dase and his wife, the former Martha Boze, moved in 1963 to a home on Stanmore Road in Rodgers Forge. They then moved in 1971 to Cockeysville.

His next-door neighbor on Coteswood Circle in Cockeysville was Bobby Grich, who played second base for the Orioles from 1970 to 1976.

"Art was one of the most, if not THE most thoughtful, kind and genuinely angelic souls on earth," Mr. Grich wrote in an email Tuesday. "He never said a bad word about anyone or anything. Just a pure kind man."

He wrote that Mr. Dase "couldn't do enough for a neighbor."

"One morning I woke up to the sound of the humming of a lawn mower. I looked out my window and Art was drilling up and down the back yard mowing our lawn! I never asked him to do it — he just did it as a favor. Not just once, but for about 3 years," he wrote.

For 22 years until retiring last year, Mr. Dase volunteered at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where he was assigned to the information desk and was an escort in the hospital's lobby. During his tenure at the Towson hospital, he had accumulated more than 3,000 volunteer hours, GBMC sources said.

"Art was a presence in our main lobby where he met patients and visitors for more than 20 years. It was a key role that he played," said Lieta C. Manistre, the GBMC's interim director of volunteers and a longtime friend.

"He always had a ready smile, a good sense of humor and was always willing to help," she said. "Art and his wife were a big part of our GBMC family."

In addition to his hospital work, Mr. Dase was a volunteer and coach with the Towson Recreation Council from 1964 until the early 1980s.

"Art had been chairman of our boys and girls basketball program in excess of 20 years, and he got a big kick out of handing out uniforms to the children," said Al Mank, who worked closely with Mr. Dase as a program coordinator for the Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Department.