Russell L. Grau Jr.
Juvenile probation officer
Russell L. Grau Jr., a former industrial arts instructor and retired juvenile probation officer, died Saturday of a heart attack at St. Joseph Hospital in Towson. He was 72.
In 1970, Mr. Grau went to work for the Department of Juvenile Services, where he counseled troubled inner-city youths. In the 1980s, he established a Boy Scout troop for young offenders. He retired in 1988.
Before becoming a probation officer, he taught industrial arts in Baltimore City and Baltimore County schools, and in schools in Danville, Va., where he lived before moving to the Baltimore area in 1953.
In 1948, he and Nancy Elizabeth Goolsby were married.
During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a mechanic. He was stationed in Iceland, Scotland, England and Germany.
Reared and educated in Havertown, Pa., Mr. Grau earned a bachelor's degree in industrial arts from Pennsylvania State University. In 1951, he received a master's degree in industrial arts from North Carolina State University.
He took up bicycling after his retirement and participated in Cycle Across Maryland in 1991. He was a member of the Baltimore Bicycle Club.
Mr. Grau, who lived in Lutherville, spent many hours in his jTC vegetable garden and enjoyed woodworking.
He made bookshelves for himself and a rocking horse and doll crib for his grandchildren. He learned the skill as a young man while working as a carpenter's assistant.
He also built a flat-bottomed canoe that he used at Lake Roland and Elk Neck.
Mr. Grau was a volunteer for the Baltimore County public library and was active in the Assistance Center of Towson Churches, which operates the Joppa House Shelter for the homeless.
He was a member of Central Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder and taught Sunday school.
He was active in the Parkville VFW Post and the American Legion in Towson.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Central Presbyterian Church, York Road and Stevenson Lane.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Bruce F. Grau of Sparks and Rawley M. Grau of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.
The family suggested donations to the Assistance Center of Towson Churches, 120 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson 21204 or Central Presbyterian Church.