Nelson J. Molter, former head of State Law Library, dies


A Mass of Christian burial for Nelson J. Molter, retired head of the State Law Library and author of a history of Severna Park, will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Ritchie Highway and Cypress Creek Road.

Mr. Molter, who was 84 and had lived in Severna Park since 1911, died of heart failure Thursday at the Anne Arundel Medical Center.

He retired in 1977 as director of what was then known as the Maryland State Library after 45 years of service.

Located in the Court of Appeals Building in Annapolis and always primarily a law library, it also contains many other reference, historical and rare books, including the subscription edition of the four-volume elephant folio of John James Audubon's "Birds of America."

A native of Pikesville who moved to Severna Park as a child, he wrote a history of the area and of the Annapolis Short Line and Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis railroads.

He was a 1926 graduate of the Severn School, where he was captain of the wrestling team and later served as its coach.

He also officiated at wrestling matches for the Maryland Scholastic Association.

He also attended the University of Maryland, the Baltimore Business College and the University of Baltimore law school.

During World War II, he also owned and operated the Severna Supermarket.

A former president of the Severna Park Improvement Association, he had also been a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club, the board of the Anne Arundel County Library and the Holy Name Society at St. John the Evangelist Church.

He began playing golf in 1975 and was a member of the Bay Hills Golf Club.

His wife, the former Mary Rose Lord, died in 1973.

He is survived by a daughter, Mary Catherine Yohn of Queenstown.

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