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Howard Bartholow, Diamond Cab president, dies

ShareholdersKorean War (1950-1953)Armed ForcesDefense

Howard "Moe" Bartholow, the retired president of the Diamond Cab Co., who worked in the transportation industry for nearly 60 years, died of cancer Aug. 25 at his Timonium home. He was 79.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Savage Street near the Bayview section, he attended the John Ruhrah School and was a 1950 graduate of Patterson Park High School. His stepfather, Al Weinstein, was an official of the Diamond Cab Co., and they worked together for many years.

Mr. Bartholow began working at the cab business in the 1940s, when it was located on Greenmount Avenue on the site of the Waverly Towers Shopping Center. The business was named for the baseball diamond at the International League Oriole Park, whose grounds were nearby on East 29th Street.

"He wanted a motor scooter and had to pay for it, so he went to work," said his wife, the former Joan Horhoe, whom he met as a childhood neighbor in Southeast Baltimore.

Mr. Bartholow initially cleaned the cabs and swept the garage for his stepfather.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1951 and served in the Korean War aboard the attack aircraft carrier Valley Forge, which was involved in bombing missions during that conflict. He remained in military service until 1959.

Returning to Baltimore, he bought his own taxi, which he drove for a decade. He then went into management of the company and bought 15 cabs that operated in his name. His name appeared in black paint on his vehicles, which were painted in golden tan trimmed in red with a diamond insignia.

Mr. Bartholow worked from an office at Ashburton Street and North Avenue, where Diamond Cab moved after it left Waverly.

His son, Barry Bartholow, a Phoenix resident, said his father worked just about every management position in the business, which is run as an association of cab-owning shareholders.

"During the 1968 riots, one of his cabs broke down," his son said. "The transmission was struck and he drove the cab, in reverse, through alleys until he got it back safely to the garage." He also accompanied tow trucks and mechanics to fetch downed cabs.

Mr. Bartholow was president of the company when he sold it in 2008. Over the years, he had run the firm's self-insurance fund, and supervised its garage and mechanics.

"He had business smarts," said his wife. "He knew how to collect a dollar and he knew how to save a dollar."

She described him as a "fair and generous man" who "thought of his employees as his friends."

She said that in the taxi business, he was known as a "peacemaker, not a troublemaker."

He enjoyed boating on the Chesapeake Bay, golfing and spending time at his home in Ocean City. He also lived in Sarasota, Fla., in the winter.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Timonium United Methodist Church, 2300 Pot Spring Road, where he was a longtime member.

In addition to his wife of nearly 55 years and his son, survivors include two daughters, Deborah McCafferty-Matthews of Timonium and Christine Rueter of Baldwin; and four grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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