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News Obituaries

John "Jock" T. Menzies III, founder of aid network

John T. "Jock" Menzies III, chairman of The Terminal Corp. and founder, president and chairman of American Logistics Aid Network, died Saturday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after being injured in an accident at his Arnold home. He was 69.

Mr. Menzies was injured when a tram that connects his home on a bluff overlooking the Severn River to a dock 300 feet below malfunctioned.

"Jock was returning on the tram and was nearly to the top when it lost its connection to the cable and ran back down the hill," said a brother, Scott S. Menzies of Upperco, who is CEO and president of The Terminal Corp. "He was catapulted from the tram and suffered severe head trauma and injuries to his chest."

The son of John T. Menzies Jr., former president of Crosse & Blackwell, and Priscilla Fuller Menzies, a homemaker, John Thompson Menzies III was born in Baltimore and spent his early years on Broadway Road in the Worthington Valley.

After Crosse & Blackwell was purchased by Nestle's, Mr. Menzies and his family moved to Bedford Valley, N.Y., when his father was named manager of Nestle's coffee division and Crosse & Blackwell.

The elder Mr. Menzies left the company in 1965 and returned with his family to Baltimore, when he and his brother, Allen R. Menzies, purchased The Terminal Corp., a warehousing and marine terminal operation.

The company, whose Guilford Avenue warehouse was a landmark, was founded by the Northern Central Railroad in 1893. The company is now located in the 1600 block of S. Highland Ave. in Canton.

John T. Menzies III attended Fox Lane High School in Mount Kisco, N.Y., and graduated in 1964 from Trinity Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y. After graduating in 1968 with a degree in economics from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., he went to work for The Terminal Corp.

By 1977, Mr. Menzies had risen to vice president and general manager of the company, which implemented one of the first computerized warehouse management and inventory systems in the industry.

In 1981, Mr. Menzies and his brother, Scott, purchased the company, and for the last 32 years, he served as its chairman.

"Jock was a deep thinker who always probed into how something could be done," said Helen Delich Bentley, the former congresswoman and chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission.

"He had a lot to do with helping establish Baltimore as a major forest products port," said Mrs. Bentley. "He was a very genial and sincere person who always put his shoulder to the wheel to help Baltimore thrive."

In 1989, Mr. Menzies was named Port Leader of the Year by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. During the 1990s, he was chairman of the Private Sector Port Committee that advised the Maryland Port Authority. He also was a member of the government policy committee of the International Warehouse and Logistics Association.

"The commercial and industrial port of Baltimore is a vital and long-lived engine of this region," Mr. Menzies wrote in a 1999 letter published in The Baltimore Sun.

"Like many of the world's great cities, Baltimore was built at the convenient intersection of water-borne and land-based transit," he wrote. "For more than one hundred years, our company and its employees have taken their sustenance from Baltimore's role as a vital and viable center of distribution."

Mr. Menzies brought his expertise in the shipping business to bear when he took on an additional role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast in 2005.

"Jock made it his mission to find a better way to mobilize disaster relief for victims," said his brother.

He was the founder, chairman and president of American Logistics Aid Network.

"Hundreds of thousands of people have benefited by a much-improved supply chain network that supported FEMA, the American Red Cross and other nongovernment relief organizations and other agencies because of Jock Menzies," said his brother.

"In recent years, he has been the leader in the country in providing emergency food, water and other equipment in emergency situations wherever they were needed. He was always willing to help whenever called upon," said Mrs. Bentley.

In 2009, the University of Maryland Supply Chain Management Society elected Mr. Menzies as its Person of the Year, and DC Velocity Magazine, which is a publication for those working in the transportation industry, recognized him as a "Rainmaker" in the logistics industry.

Mr. Menzies' other volunteer activities included serving as president of the Baltimore-Washington Round Table for the National Council of Physical Distribution Management. In 2003, he served as chairman of the Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross and remained as an honorary board member.

He was also a member of the board of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and was chairman of the alumni fund at St. Lawrence University from 1984 to 1985. He was a former member of the board of the Harford Mutual Life Insurance Co.

An outdoorsman, Mr. Menzies enjoyed kayaking on the Severn River, jogging and swimming. He was a member of the Elkridge Club and hit his first hole-in-one in the spring.

In 1995, Mr. Menzies married Penelope Ware, who was executive director of the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore.

Mr. Menzies had been a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday.

In addition to his wife and brother, Mr. Menzies is survived by a son, John Baker Menzies of Eastland, Texas; a daughter, Mary Etherton of Reisterstown; his mother, Priscilla Fuller Menzies of Towson; another brother, R. Michael S. Menzies of Easton; a sister, Priscilla Menzies Keller of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; a stepson, Jonathon Sabatini of Annapolis; a stepdaughter, Danielle Sabatini of Annapolis; and four grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Julia Baker ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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