William H. Airey Jr.
William H. Airey Jr., a retired advertising manager, died Monday of complications from asthma at Fairhaven Retirement Community in Sykesville where he had lived since 1993. He was 79.
He retired in 1980 after a 40-year career with Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Inc., where he was advertising manager for Delaware, Maryland and Washington.
During World War II, after being rejected for military service because of his asthma, he enlisted in the Coast Guard and worked as a machinist at the Curtis Bay Yard until the end of the war.
In the late 1940s Mr. Airey, who was interested in carpentry and woodworking, bought several acres of land in Ellicott City and spent the next five years building his home.
He was a group leader in the Howard County 4-H and raised sheep and cattle at his residence. He played trumpet for many years with a group of Catonsville musicians who performed Big Band music.
He was born and raised in Catonsville Junction at the corner of Oakdale and Edmondson avenues, and was a graduate of Catonsville High School.
In 1941, he married Elizabeth Collins, who died last year.
Services for Mr. Airey were to be held at 1 p.m. today at Gary L. Kaufman Funeral Home of Elkridge Inc., Main Street and Furnace Avenue.
He is survived by two sons, Robert L. Airey of Ellicott City and Jeffrey L. Airey of Federalsburg; a daughter, Jennifer Airey Diederichs of Kent Island; a sister, Dorothy Baker, and an aunt, Victoria Connor, both of Fairhaven; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.