John W. McNair, management consultant

John W. McNair, a retired management consultant who was active in architectural preservation, gardening and skating, died Nov. 27 of a heart attack at his home on Montgomery Street. He was 85.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Light Street Presbyterian Church, 810 Light St.


Mr. McNair had operated his own management consulting firm from the mid-1940s until he retired about 20 years ago and moved to the brick home he restored on Montgomery Street.

Born in Pittsburgh, he earned an engineering degree from what is now Carnegie-Mellon University.


He moved to Baltimore in 1939 while working for the Westinghouse Electric Corp. He worked for the old Standard Gas and Equipment Co. from 1941 until he started his own business.

A member of the Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill and Fells Point and of the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, he also cataloged the architectural drawings of the Peabody Institute and other buildings for the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Because of his children's interest in ice skating, he became a member of the executive committee of the United States Figure Skating Association and was instrumental in the development of a program and manual, published in 1970, for teaching children to skate.

He and his wife were among the founders of the American Holly Society and grew many varieties of the plant at their former home in Guilford, giving away hundreds of them at Christmastime.

For many years, Mr. McNair played Santa Claus for the children in Christmas visits to the homes of many friends and relatives.

He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Elizabeth McNulty; a son, John W. "Jock" McNair Jr. of Salisbury; a daughter, Janet McNair Clark of Lexington, Ga.; and three grandsons.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the George Peabody Library.