"He enjoyed being head usher and once a year would gather the other ushers for beer and pretzels," said Monsignor Burke. "And when he was no longer able to traipse up the aisle, he would oversee the operation from a back pew."

Monsignor Burke said that Mr. Doerfler enjoyed the parish's annual crab feasts.

"I think he still holds the parish record for eating crabs. He could really put them away," he said.

"I really got to know him when we moved to Mayfield in 1997. As I jogged around Lake Montebello, Bob would walk, rehabbing after what I believe was a hip replacement," said Paul McMullen, a former Sun sports reporter who is now editor of The Catholic Review.

"We would visit and talk about politics, fatherhood and everything under the sun. Walking around the lake, he recruited me to join the Knights of Columbus," said Mr. McMullen. "He was a great listener and salesman."

Monsignor Burke said that Mr. Doerfler enjoyed sitting on the porch of his Kentucky Avenue home, observing passers-by.

"He was a very familiar figure for years walking around Lake Montebello, where he worked on his tan, and when he was on his porch watching the world go by," he said.

He was a charter member of the Little Flower Council of the Knights of Columbus, where he had been grand knight, trustee, treasurer and recorder.

Mr. Doerfler was a longtime member and former gasogene of the Six Napoleons, a Baltimore Sherlock Holmes society. He also enjoyed traveling and collecting coins and stamps.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at his church, Harford Road and Pelham Avenue.

Mr. Doerfler is survived by his wife of 60 years; two sons, Robert G. Doerfler Jr. of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Joseph P. Doerfler of Timonium; six daughters, Margaret Malanowski of Kansas City, Mo., Teresa Hekkers of Colorado Springs, Kathy Burdyck of Perry Hall, Marie Knode of Owings Mills, Suzanne Kalthof of Bel Air and Nancy Finnessy of Carney; 20 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Christine Doerfler, was murdered in 1988.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com