Roger Francis Xavier Ecolono, who sold cars as a salesman and as a dealer during a 52-year career, died of a heart attack at his Ellicott City home on Saturday. He was 76.
Born in Charleston, W. Va., Mr. Ecolono moved to Baltimore when he was a child. He graduated from Loyola High School in 1940 and enjoyed a brief venture in show business, with voice lessons in New York and an appearance on "The Ed Sullivan show" as an Italian-style crooner. Under the stage name "Buddy Rogers," he sang in clubs around the country.
In 1942, he enlisted in the Army and became a paratrooper who trained other soldiers.
After the war, Mr. Ecolono began his career in cars sales at Behrend Brothers in Baltimore. He owned a Ford dealership in Greencastle, Pa., in the 1970s. Refusing to retire in his 70s, he started a full-time job in 1994 at Apple Ford in Columbia.
"He was generous and selfless," said Apple Ford commercial sales manager Jonathan Whitehead. "He always had a joke to brighten your day."
His marriage to Gloria Marguerite Milano ended in divorce.
A Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church in Pikesville.
He is survived by two daughters, Donna Gede of Owings Mills and Denise Walk of Ellicott City, and three grandchildren.
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