Jon Eric Aumann Sr. of Towson, longtime furrier, dies

Jon Eric Aumann Sr., the last owner of his family's decades old fur business, died of cancer June 10 at his Towson home. He was 63.

Known as Eric, he was born in Baltimore and raised on Wendover Road in Guilford. He was the son of Frederick C. Aumann, a furrier, and his wife, Marjorie P. Rue, a homemaker.

He was a 1972 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School, where he played freshman football. He obtained a bachelor's degree in accounting from Loyola University Maryland.

He met his future wife, then-Ann Loughran, on Christmas Eve in the laundry room of the Kenilworth at Charles Apartments. He had just closed the store after a busy holiday sales season.

They married in 1983 at the Loyola University Chapel.

In 1972, Mr. Aumann joined his father in the family business, Auman & Werkmeister Inc. The furrier was founded about 1905 by his grandfather and a partner. He also worked alongside an aunt, Gwendolyn Aumann Connelly, in the business.

While the company used "Auman," the actual name was Aumann. According to lore, the Werkmeister partner did not want to spend the money for an extra N on an exterior sign.

Mr. Aumann received his early training at the firm's salon at 311 N. Charles St. They left that site about 1973 and moved to Allegheny Avenue in Towson in the Dorothy Hess women's clothing building.

"My father did the firm's books and styled and repaired furs. He rarely made the coats —we bought them from our wholesalers. He learned the business from his father, who learned it from his father," said his son, Andrew M. Aumann, a Nottingham resident.

He said his father also helped operate a family-owned fur storage facility at 313 Tyson St. in downtown Baltimore that typically held from 3,000 to 5,000 fur coats and stoles. The firm's patrons typically stored their mink, beaver and fox coats there over the summer.

"He stored the furs in a vault that was air-purified and set at a temperature between the 50s and 60s," said his son, Andrew.

He said the fur storage service was an important part of the business. Mr. Aumann had a driver call at his patrons' homes to pick up their wraps in the spring and deliver them in the fall.

There could be some unusual requests in the business. Mr. Aumann was once called upon to reline a tiger skin that had been made into a rug, his son said.

Mr. Aumann worked alongside his father until his 1985 death. He continued to operate Auman & Werkmeister, later Aumann Furs, until 2011 when he sold the business.

Mr. Aumann lived with his wife on 36th Street across from old Memorial Stadium before moving to the Knollwood-Donnybrook neighborhood in Towson in 1985.

He was active in the local political circles and volunteered with candidates seeking office.

He was a member of the board of trustees of the Children's Guild. Family members said he helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for its foundation.

For nearly 10 years Mr. Aumann served on the committee, and as chairman, for Boy Scout Troop 729 based at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church. He was also a past treasurer for the Dumbarton Middle School PTA.

He was a former communicant of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington, where he had been parish council secretary.

A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, 100 Ware Avenue in Towson.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 33 years, a former Baltimore County school teacher and counselor for more than 35 years; another son, Jon E. Aumann Jr. of Parkville; two brothers, Frederick C. "Fritz" Aumann III of Bedford, N.H., and R. Karl Aumann of Timonium; two sisters, Gretchen Aumann-Kelley of Manchester, N.H., and Kristin Heck of Annapolis; and two grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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