Arthur Divens

Arthur Divens (June 30, 2011)

Arthur William Divens Sr., a World War II submariner who later worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and the Maryland Transit Administration, died June 25 of heart failure at Genesis Elder Care Center in Severna Park.

He was 86.

The son of a Westinghouse Electric Corp. executive and a homemaker, Mr. Divens was born in Trafford, Pa., and raised in Levelgreen, Pa.

He left Penn Township High School in 1943 to join the Navy and served as a torpedo man aboard the submarine USS Queenfish, which earned a Presidential Citation and six battle stars, in the Pacific.

After the war, he remained in the Navy and earned his General Education Development diploma. Trained as an electrical technician, Mr. Divens served exclusively aboard submarines, including the USS Shark, one of the earliest nuclear attack submarines.

At the time of his 1964 retirement as a chief petty officer, he was a missile instructor at the Navy's Advanced Undersea Weapons School in Key West, Fla.

For the next decade, until joining the Washington Metro system in 1975, he was an electrical technician with the CIA.

Mr. Divens was a 1975 graduate of Anne Arundel Community College.

At the time of his retirement in 1988, Mr. Divens was superintendent of electronics for the Maryland Transit Administration.

He was a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Fleet Reserve. He was a member and former state commander of the Submarine Veterans of World War II.

The longtime Severna Park resident had also had been a guide aboard the World War II-era submarine USS Torsk, docked in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

An accomplished woodworker, he built furniture and grandfather clocks for family members. He was an avid reader, coin collector and boater.

Mr. Divens was a communicant of St. John Roman Catholic Church, 689 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, the former Catherine Mediate; a son, Arthur W. Divens of Beltsville; a daughter, Cynthia Sweeney of Annapolis; a brother, James Divens of Pensacola, Fla.; two sisters, Joanne Ramsey of Jacksonville, Fla., and Shirley Malvasi of Monroe, Conn.; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com