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George M. Ferris Brokerage founder


George M. Ferris, chairman emeritus of the regional brokerage firm Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., died of heart failure Thursday at his Chevy Chase home.

A memorial service for the 99-year-old founder of the Washington-based Ferris & Co. Inc. will be conducted at 4 p.m. tomorrowat All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase.

The Newton, Conn., native was a 1916 graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., where he was a star baseball pitcher and lifetime trustee. Its athletic center is named in his honor.

After World War I service as an Army Air Force captain, Mr. Ferris joined the S. W. Strauss bond house and opened a Washington office for the firm. In 1932, in the depths of the Depression, he demonstrated both courage and optimism by opening his own brokerage firm. The Baltimore brokerage of Baker Watts, founded at the turn of the century, was acquired by Ferris in 1988 to form the regional brokerage firm Ferris, Baker Watts Inc.

Mr. Ferris served as president of the former Washington Stock Exchange and was a trustee since its inception of Washington's Sibley Memorial Hospital, to which the family suggested

memorial donations.

His wife of 67 years, native Washingtonian Charlotte Hamilton Ferris, died in 1986.

Surviving are a daughter, Gene Ferris Benedict of McLean, Va.; a son, George M. Ferris Jr., chairman of Ferris, Baker Watts, of Chevy Chase; 10 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

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