William Pitcher, insurance firm owner, dies

William Malcolm Pitcher, an insurance firm owner, died of cancer July 5 at Gilchrist Hospice Center in Towson, one of the local charities he assisted during his life. The Brooklandville resident was 83.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Bateman Avenue, he was a 1945 Forest Park High School graduate. As a young man, he lived in Hyde Park, N.Y., and in Los Angeles, where he attended the University of California, Los Angeles. He delivered food for the Brown Derby restaurant and once called at the residence of Babe Ruth, whom he met.

He served in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Korean War.

He was a graduate of General Motors' Engineering and Management Institute and worked for GM's Motors Insurance Co. in his early career.

In 1974, he formed what is now PDP Group Inc., which employed nearly 500 people in the United States and Canada.

Mr. Pitcher assisted many local charities and nonprofit foundations.

"Both Bill and his wife, Connie, were instrumental in the capital campaign for the construction of Gilchrist Center in Towson," said Lori Mulligan, Gilchrist's development director. "They have continued to be very generous benefactors to the organization."

Mr. Pitcher also gave to the Greater Baltimore Medical Center's Joseph Keelty Society, Johns Hopkins Oncology Research, the Wilmer Eye Institute, the Boy Scouts of America and the Metropolitan Opera's Golden Horseshoe.

"He recognized intellectually the value of research in prostate cancer and donated generously during his time on our Prostate Cancer Advisory Board at Johns Hopkins," said Dr. Theodore DeWeese, professor and chairman of the Johns Hopkins department of radiation oncology.

Mr. Pitcher enjoyed collecting art and was a history buff. He enjoyed travel. He skied in the Rockies, boated and golfed. He was a member of Harry's Bar in London, Doubles in New York, the Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club, Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Fla., and the Baltimore Country Club.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday at St. David's Episcopal Church, 4700 Roland Ave.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, the former Constance Deegan; two sons, William Bruce Pitcher of Reisterstown and James Gordon Pitcher of Monkton; and four grandchildren.