By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun
September 4, 2012
E. William "Bill" Scriba, a former T. Rowe Price treasurer and vice president who dedicated himself to supporting the Johns Hopkins University, died Aug. 28 at his residence in an assisted-living community in Sunnyvale, Calif., of undetermined causes.
The former Ruxton resident was 85. Mr. Scriba had a passion for his alma mater because he was thankful for the opportunities his education gave him after modest beginnings, said his daughter, Laura Parks of Brooklyn, N.Y.
"An integral part of his life was to give back to the community to pay back for opportunities he was given throughout his life," Parks said.
Mr. Scriba grew up near Hollins Market in West Baltimore during the Great Depression. His father died when Mr. Scriba was a toddler. His mother cleaned floors at Bon Secours Hospital.
"His family was very, very poor when he was a child," Ms. Parks said.
He met his wife, Elinor, when they were children and they dated as teens. They wed in 1951 and were married until Mrs. Scriba's death last year. The couple resided in Catonsville before moving to Ruxton, where they lived for more than 35 years. In recent years they lived in Mays Chapel.
Mr. Scriba moved in July to Sunnyvale, where his son and daughter-in-law live, Ms. Parks said.
After high school at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Scriba served a year in the Navy during World War II.
Mr. Scriba then worked as an accountant for the General Elevator Co. and the Baltimore Salesbook Co., while attending night school at the McCoy College of Johns Hopkins. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business in 1957.
"He was very thrilled to even be associated with what he felt was a prestigious university, and he felt very welcomed there," his daughter said.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. Scriba was active in Santa Claus Anonymous and appeared in early television commercials for the charity, which gives Christmas gifts to underprivileged children. He also was involved with the Baltimore Junior Association of Commerce.
He enjoyed following politics and helped with John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign in Baltimore, Ms. Parks said.
In 1961, Mr. Scriba began working for T. Rowe Price. He was known for a "tremendous sense of humor" that charmed others — including the firm's founder, Thomas Rowe Price Jr., whom Mr. Scriba impressed with his jokes during a company retreat, Ms. Parks said.
His humor "got him through life more than anything else," she said.
Mr. Scriba became treasurer and vice president at T. Rowe Price in 1970. He retired in 1985.
Throughout his life, Mr. Scriba was dedicated to supporting Johns Hopkins, his daughter said. He served on the university's alumni council, including time as secretary and as a member of the development and executive committees.
In 1995, he and his wife began the Elinor and E. William Scriba Scholarship at the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins.
Mr. Scriba belonged to the Johns Hopkins Club for more than 50 years, serving as president and as a member of the board of governors. Every year, Mr. Scriba gathered with family at the club for Christmas Eve.
In 1999, he described the holiday tradition to The Gazette of Johns Hopkins University, saying it was a highlight of the year for him.
"Some of my family comes all the way from California to share the experience. It becomes a wonderful occasion," Mr. Scriba told the publication. "The place is so beautifully decorated, and there are musicians playing in the dining room. It really is a magical event."
He and his wife also enjoyed spending time at the Country Club of Maryland. Mr. Scriba supported organizations including the Maryland Historical Society, where his wife was a docent, and Catholic Charities of Baltimore.
Mr. Scriba enjoyed traveling, golfing and painting. He liked to paint watercolor scenes of the Eastern Shore on the bottoms of crab bushel baskets, which he got from crab houses, Ms. Parks said.
Mr. Scriba was a longtime member of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington, where a funeral Mass will be held Friday at 10 a.m.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Scriba is survived by a son, James W. Scriba of Sunnyvale, Calif., and a sister, Genevieve B. Miller of Catonsville.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun