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William Laudeman, former Baltimore County finance director, dies

William F. Laudeman, a retired finance director for Baltimore County government, died of dementia complications Sept. 15 at Brightview Senior Living. He was 89 and lived in Timonium.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Cedarcroft, he was the son of James D. Laudeman Sr., a franchise owner with Overhead Door, and his wife, Ary Frizzell.

He was a 1947 graduate of City College, where he played lacrosse. He obtained a bachelor of science in accounting at what is now Loyola University Maryland, and became a certified public accountant in 1960.

He met his future wife, Kathleen Grady, at the old Rex Pharmacy on York Road. He worked the soda fountain and she typed prescription labels.

“My father asked her to a dance,” said his daughter, Stacey Laudeman Roig, a Timonium resident. The couple married in 1949.

He became the chief accountant the Johns Hopkins Hospital before joining Baltimore County government. He served during the administration of Spiro T. Agnew. In 1969 he was named the county’s deputy director of finance and five years later he was promoted rto finance director. He retired in 1992.

“Bill Laudeman is one of the reasons that Baltimore County is a conservative but well-functioning county,” said Donald P. Hutchinson, a former Baltimore County executive who is now president of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

“He was a guy who helped maintain the working environment of financial consistency in the county,” said Mr. Hutchinson. “In this approach to government, the county remains remarkably efficient and affordable.”

Mr. Laudeman also had a private accounting business in the old Loyola Federal Savings and Loan Association building in Towson. His clients included Dulaney Motors and Miles Electric Co.

On occasion, Mr. Laudeman wrote letters to The Baltimore Sun. In 2003, he opined about a proposal to put slot machines at Timonium Race Track during the Maryland State Fair: “There is not one good thing to be said for gambling in Timonium. It offers no social benefit to the community. What it does offer is more traffic, deadbeats and crime. The fair's original purpose — to educate and enlighten people to agricultural and farm animal management — will be long gone after slots arrive. Money will take its place.”

He was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Maryland Association of CPAs and the Maryland Government Finance Officers Association, where he served as president from 1974 to 1975.

He also belonged to the Optimist Club of Timonium and served on his community association’s board

He played golf with a group called the Silver Foxes at the Fox Hollow Golf Course in Timonium.

“We were far from being professionals. We were more like typical weekend players,” said Walter Friend, a member of the golfing group and a resident of Towson. “Bill was somebody who got along with everyone he met.”

His daughter, Stacey Roig, recalled her father’s taste. “He loved ice cream and snowballs,” she said. “His favorite flavor was spearmint. He would be with his grandchildren and say, spur of the moment, ‘Let’s all get a snowball right now.’ He’d gather them up and off they went.”

She said Mr. Laudeman, who bought an acre-and-a-half lot in Timonium in 1957 for a home he built, did his own landscaping, including seeding the lawn and planting trees and shrubs. He also had raised flower beds around a swimming pool and installed a fountain because he liked the sound of running water.

She also said he planted annuals and rotated their color schemes from year to year. He photographed his gardens to assure that he changed the plant colors the following spring

Mr. Laudeman built a traditional Baltimore Christmas garden each year in his basement. “He spent hours doing it and loved every minute of it,” said his daughter.

When visiting a grandson, he took a paper grocery bag and demonstrated to the child how to make a train tunnel from it using only the bag and spray paint.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 100 Church Lane in Cockeysville.

In addition to his wife of 67 years, a Loyola University dean’s secretary, and his daughter, Mr. Laudeman is survived by a son, Craig W. Laudeman of Phoenix in Baltimore County; another daughter, Stephanie Laudeman Scherpf of York, Pa.; and seven grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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