Edward Joseph McNeal Sr.

Edward Joseph McNeal Sr. ( )

Edward Joseph "Ned" McNeal Sr., who served in the General Assembly and who later headed the Credit Bureau of Baltimore, died at Sinai Hospital on Wednesday after suffering a fall at his home. The Timonium resident was 86.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Cresmont Avenue, he was a 1945 graduate of Loyola High School. He then served in the Navy aboard the Absecon, a tender. He earned degrees at what is now Loyola University Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Mr. McNeal represented Northeast Baltimore in the House of Delegates from 1955 to 1963. He voted for the establishment of the Maryland Port Administration.

"Ned was a very capable legislator and a real gentleman," said former state Sen. Julian L. Lapides, who lives in Baltimore.

He had been a legislative assistant to former U.S. Sen. Herbert R. O'Conor and was staff director of the Public Works Committee of the House of Representatives, then chaired by Rep. George H. Fallon.

He was also assistant director of the Automobile Trade Organization before becoming executive vice president of the Retail Merchants Association of Baltimore and holding the post for 25 years. As a member of the old Committee for Downtown, he worked to rebuild downtown Baltimore.

Mr. McNeal was the manager of the Credit Bureau of Baltimore and introduced computers to the bureau. Family members said that in 1985, he worked in a partnership with Equifax and bought the Credit Bureau of Baltimore from department store owners. He sold his interest to Equifax in 1992.

Mr. McNeal was a former member of the Stella Maris Hospice board and was a volunteer with the health division of the Maryland attorney general's office, the Franciscan Center and the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He spent eight years as a public member of the Institutional Review Board for Medical Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In addition, he volunteered with the Spanish Apostolate and Meals on Wheels. He was a member of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen parish for more than 40 years.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Stella Maris Chapel, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 58 years, Mary Lu Schroeder McNeal; a son, Edward Joseph McNeal Jr. of New York City; two daughters, Mary Helen McNeal of Syracuse, N.Y., and Julia McNeal Smith of Baltimore; and a granddaughter.

Jacques.kelly@baltsun.com