Calvin C. Wilhide Sr., 89, self-taught carpenter, builder


Calvin C. Wilhide Sr., a retired contractor, died Saturday of Parkinson's disease at the home of a daughter in Baldwin. He was 89.

He had lived in Bolton Hill and Hamilton, and moved to Baldwin in 1995.

In the late 1930s, the self-taught carpenter established C. C. Wilhide Co., which specialized in constructing homes and apartment buildings, and renovating churches.

After dissolving the business 15 years ago, he managed several Hamilton apartment buildings he had built and owned.

While living on Bolton Street in the early 1950s, Mr. Wilhide decided to build a 35-foot cabin cruiser for his family. He built the components of the vessel in his basement and took them to a boatyard in South Baltimore where the craft was assembled.

"He even took a Ford truck motor and converted it into a marine engine," said a son, Warren Wilhide Sr. of Morristown, N.J.

"He was hard-working, inventive and resourceful," said the son.

Born in Chambersburg, Pa., one of 10 children, Mr. Wilhide attended school until the eighth grade. He played

semiprofessional baseball during the early 1930s and briefly served in the Navy before he moved to Baltimore.

According to family members, he secured living quarters near the central library of the Enoch Pratt Free Library so he could have easy access to books and continue his education.

Mr. Wilhide traveled widely and made three trips to China. He was active into his 80s, sailing, walking three miles a day, and dancing and swimming several times a week.

His wife of 53 years, the former Virginia Newcomer, died in 1984.

For 60 years, he was a member of Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, 6200 N. Charles St., where services were conducted yesterday.

He is survived by three other sons, Calvin C. Wilhide Jr. of Towson, Karl Wilhide of Hamilton and Paul Wilhide of Baltimore; two daughters, Joyce Marschall of Baldwin and Janet Mergl of Parkville; a brother, Kenneth Wilhide of Shippensburg, Pa.; three sisters, Pauline Phelps of Frederick and Kate Mickey and Iona Shaffer, both of Chambersburg; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Pub Date: 6/17/98

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