J. Patrick McGlone, engineer, 84


J. Patrick McGlone, an engineer known in local construction circles as "Mr. Concrete," died of heart failure Wednesday at Mercy Medical Center.

A Mass of Christian burial for the 84-year-old Anneslie resident is set for 11 a.m. today at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, 6428 York Road.

He was best known for helping create the unusual look and texture of the Morris Mechanic Theatre.

"The Mechanic was his crowning achievement," said Dennis A. McGlone, one of his nine children. "He designed the method of mixing and curing the concrete to give it the buffed color of wood. It was one of the secrets he took to the grave."

A retired vice president of E. L. Conwell & Co., Mr. McGlone had worked in the concrete industry for 55 years: designing, inspecting, testing and selling concrete in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Annapolis.

He was born in a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia, where -- during the Depression -- he managed a neighborhood friend in a one-time only prize fight appearance. The friend was pummeled, and Mr. McGlone turned to other pursuits.

Mr. McGlone accepted a job with Conwell after leaving Temple University in 1928 and arrived in Baltimore in 1932 to help the old Arundel-Brooks Co. establish the city's first plant producing ready-to-mix concrete. The concrete plant, now known as the Arundel Corp., is at the foot of Wolfe Street in Fells Point.

He became friends with stevedores and tugboat men who hung out in the old waterfront neighborhood and passed many an evening trading stories with them at Tony Smith's tavern on Fell Street.

"He was a very gracious, warm Irishmen who had the gift of making anybody feel comfortable," said his son, Dennis.

During World War II, he served with the civil defense agency in Annapolis while working on the expansion of the U.S. Naval Academy and what is now the Patuxent Naval Air Station.

He became a vice president of Conwell in 1959, worked as a sales manager and engineer with the Arundel Corp. from 1961 to 1968, and then returned to Conwell, where he retired in 1983.

When he wasn't at work or with his family, Mr. McGlone loved to fish, particularly on the Chesapeake Bay, for anything that was biting.

In addition to his wife of 56 years, the former Edith M. Bayrle of Anneslie, Mr. McGlone is survived by five daughters, Susan Dore of Toronto, Martha Giese of Virginia Beach, Va., Sara Donohue of Easton, Conn., Mary Brady of Park Forest, Ill., and Katherine Cogdell, of Alexandria, Va.; three other sons, J. Matthew McGlone and David A. McGlone, both of Anneslie, and Mark G. McGlone of Stoneleigh; two sisters, Vera Connelly and Marie Flood, both of Philadelphia; 23 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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