Robert Link, 79, executive at container companyRobert...


Robert Link, 79, executive at container company

Robert U. Link, a former container company executive, died Thursday of cardiac arrest at Oak Crest Village retirement community. He was 79.

Mr. Link, who grew up in Patterson Park, graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School in 1938 and attended Loyola College before joining the Army during World War II.

He was assigned to a chemical warfare unit at Aberdeen Proving Ground and spent most of his enlistment training officer candidates. He was discharged as a captain in 1946.

He became a sales manager for Container Corp. of America before leaving for Independent Can Co., where he retired as executive vice president and director in 1985.

Mr. Link was a volunteer adviser and board member of the German Orphans Home in Howard County. He belonged to the Mount Washington Club and the Country Club of Maryland.

He was a longtime member of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St., where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Helen Koch; three sons, Richard Link, Robert U. Link III and Ronald Link; a brother, Bernard Link; and a sister, Geraldine Feroli, all of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.

Joseph T. Gossard, 92, railway track supervisor

Joseph Theodore Gossard, a retired Western Maryland Railway Co. track supervisor who later was a bookkeeper at an Owings Mills seafood restaurant, died Friday of kidney failure at Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown. He was 92.

The longtime Reisterstown resident moved last year to the Homewood Nursing Home in Williamsport.

Born and reared in Clear Spring, he showed an early knack for carpentry and was working as a carpenter when he met Laura Catherine Turner, whom he married in 1926.

Mr. Gossard joined Western Maryland Railway Co. in 1929, repairing and operating railroad cars and rising to become a supervisor of buildings and bridges in 1948. In 1956, he became a track supervisor at Glyndon in Baltimore County and retired in 1971.

In retirement, he was a bookkeeper at Captain Harvey's Seafood Restaurant in Owings Mills until two years ago.

He was an active member of the Hagerstown Masonic Lodge 217, the Cumberland Tall Cedars of Lebanon, the Shriners of Hagerstown, Scottish Rite of Hagerstown, Potomac Fish and Game Club and the Antietam Volunteer Fire Company.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Minnich Funeral Home, 415 E. Wilson Blvd. in Hagerstown.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters, JoEllen Gore of Glyndon, Doris Louise Cottingham of Walkersville and Janice LaRue Gray of Hagerstown; two brothers, Evers Gossard of Salisbury and Charles Gossard of Hagerstown; four sisters, Freda Wempe of Williamsport, and Mae Socks, Mary Ruth Craig and Edith Gaylor, all of Hagerstown; seven grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

John W. Lawton, 78, aeronautical engineer

John W. Lawton, a retired aeronautical engineer and vice president of Westinghouse Electric Corp., died Tuesday of cancer at his Annapolis home. He was 78.

For 35 years until his retirement in 1985, Mr. Lawton was a vice president of Westinghouse's International Operations Division in Columbia.

Born and reared in Oakland, Garrett County, he was a graduate of the Curtiss Wright Technical Institute in Glendale, Calif.

During World War II, he was a technical representative for Lockheed Aircraft Co. and was assigned to the Royal Air Force in England. He later served in the Navy and was discharged in 1945.

He was an avid golfer and reader.

His 1950 marriage to the former Barbara Maule ended in divorce.

A private memorial service will be held.

He is survived by a son, Bruce D. Lawton of Arnold; four daughters, Carol L. Christhilf of Annapolis, Anne L. Gunn of Arnold, Susan A. Lawton of Odenton and Nancy L. Chambers of Topsham, Maine; a sister, Virginia Lawton of Washington; and eight grandchildren.

Woodrow Gentry, 87, Bethlehem shipyard worker

Woodrow "Woody" Gentry, a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. shipyard employee, died of brain damage at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Thursday, a month after he was struck by a car. He was 87 and lived in Dundalk.

One of 12 children, he was born in Greene County, Va., and left school in the mid-1930s to work on a farm before he moved to Baltimore in 1941 and took a job at Bethlehem Steel as a "chipper," smoothing metal pieces on the hulls of ships. He retired in 1975.

In 1952, he married the former Bernice R. Collett, who died in 1980.

Services will be held at 11: 30 a.m. today at Duda-Ruck Funeral Home, 7922 Wise Ave. in Dundalk.

Mr. Gentry is survived by two sons, Kenneth Gentry of Winchester, Va., and Ronald Gentry of Bel Air; two daughters, Marilyn Patterson of Marlow, Okla., and Deloris Davis of Winchester, Va.; a sister, Alice Davis of Dundalk; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Peter Schafline, 102, mason, World War I veteran

Peter Schafline, an itinerant mason from Patterson Park who laid brick from Baltimore to Macon, Ga., died Thursday of congestive heart failure. The resident of Winter Park, Fla., was 102.

Affixed to the wall of his bedroom in his daughter's home is a bronze plaque from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers Local 1 in Baltimore, thanking him for "three- quarters of a century of service and dedication."

"He was very proud of that," said his daughter, L. Maxine League. "He was a good man who led a good life and worked hard."

Mr. Schafline grew up in East Baltimore and began his working life while a boy, toiling as a potter, cigar-maker and shirt-stitcher before enlisting in the Navy during World War I and serving in a supply depot in Norfolk, Va.

Upon returning home, he took up masonry and worked on such buildings as the Baltimore Savings Bank and the former Bell Telephone headquarters.

During and after the Depression, he traveled far and wide in search of work to support his wife and only child -- the family lived in Middle River -- before finding steady employment building the Martin Marietta plant.

Over the years, he lived in Howard, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties.

He retired in 1960 and moved with his daughter's family to Winter Park after the 1984 death of his wife of 65 years, the former Dolly Hannan.

Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Glen Burnie.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Schafline is survived by a grandson and a great-grandson.

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