Carroll Martin Radebaugh, a horticulturalist who was an owner of a well-known Towson nursery and greenhouse, died of cancer Wednesday at Gilchrist Hospice Care. He was 92 and had lived for many years at his family's Burke Avenue compound.
Born in Baltimore County, he was the son of George Walker and Anna Jeannette Martin Radebaugh, who cultivated vegetables in outdoor frames in the mid-1920s and started Radebaugh Florists and Greenhouse. He was a 1937 graduate of Towson High School, where he also competed in varsity basketball, soccer and baseball. He also worked at the Towson Gun Club's clay pigeon shoot.
He attended Loyola College and played varsity soccer and basketball. He then earned a horticulture degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, where also played soccer and baseball. Family members said the New York Yankees scouted him to play shortstop while he was at College Park.
During World War II, he served in the Navy as a lieutenant aboard a submarine chaser in the Pacific. He met his future wife, Suzanne Baynham, in Long Beach, Calif.
After the war's end, he returned to the family business, which also constructed concrete garden fish and lily ponds and swimming pools.
Family members said he spent nearly 45 years growing flowers and plants at his business in Towson, where he lived in a white clapboard house on Burke Avenue.
"He loved his work and the satisfaction received from watching so many loyal customers enjoy his plants year after year," said his daughter, Lisa Carroll Radebaugh of Lutherville.
She said that in the 1970s, he and his brother Joseph, who died in 2011, became owners.
"They were a great team," said his son, Stephen M. Radebaugh of Glen Arm. "Joe maintained the buildings and greenhouses from top to bottom and helped the customers. My dad was behind the scenes. He planned and produced the crops, purchased supplies, planned for growth and educated himself on all the latest trends."
He also said his father provided "great leadership and vision for our business" and added greenhouses in Towson and on a family farm in Freeland in northern Baltimore County.
"This allowed us to expand the business into the wholesale plant market," his son said.
Mr. Radebaugh, who studied greenhouse design in the Netherlands and Scandinavia in the 1980s, stepped down from full-time work in 1995 but continued to drive to Freeland three days a week so he could indulge his love of growing plants. There he worked alongside a nephew, Doug Radebaugh, and a great-nephew, Jesse Radebaugh, both of Freeland.
"He loved those days working with his nephews," his son said, with generations of the family all working together in plant growing, selling and floral design and delivery.
"My uncle was a great mentor to myself and many young friends interested in pursuing horticultural careers. His passion for his profession was contagious, and he was willing to hand down responsibility to the next generation," said Doug Radebaugh.
Mr. Radebaugh hunted fowl and fished on the Chesapeake Bay. He played golf at the Country Club of Maryland. He was a past president of the Towson Kiwanis Club.
A Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Ware Avenue, Towson, where he was a member.
In addition to his son, daughter and nephews, he is survived by another son, Dr. Michael W. Radebaugh of Parkton,; another daughter, Page R. Fick of Lutherville; a brother, John H. Radebaugh of Freeland; a sister, Jeannette R. Hollenshade of Towson; nine grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. His wife of 57 years died in 2002.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun