Charles F. Peace III, 89, retired banker and GOP 'stalwart'


Charles F. Peace III, a retired banker who followed Republican politics and served on the police and firefighters pension board, died Tuesday of a heart attack at his Towson home. He was 89.

Family members said that on the day he died, he spent the afternoon kibitzing with election judges at Engine 31 in Waverly.

A retired official of Maryland National Bank, he faithfully followed the Republican Party and spent much of his retirement serving on civic and governmental boards.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Round Bay, he was a 1932 graduate of Severn School and earned a degree from St. John's College in Annapolis. He also attended the American Institute of Banking in Washington, where he was a clerk at the Security Savings and Commercial Bank and at the General Accounting Office.

During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces and was assigned to a photo intelligence unit in North Africa and Italy.

Mr. Peace was a salesman for his father's industrial heating elements and firebrick business on Howard Street until 1954, when he became a salesman for a trucking company, Mason Dixon Lines.

He worked in a similar capacity for Johnson Lines before joining Maryland National Bank as an assistant vice president, developing business for the bank in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

He was a member of the Republican State Central Committee and often attended candidate forums and distributed literature in North and Northeast Baltimore.

"He was a straight shooter, pleasant but direct," said former Baltimore Republican Party chairman David Blumberg. "He was supportive of candidates, didn't get caught up in ideology and saw the big picture. He knew the key to politics was getting people elected."

"He was a stalwart of the Republican Party," said Samuel A. Culotta, an attorney and former member of the Maryland House of Delegates. "He worked the polls and was one of the reliable Republicans in the old 3rd District. You could always count of him. He had a fine demeanor and a mind of his own."

Others agreed that Mr. Peace's personality was an asset in politics.

"He was a natural in politics. He certainly liked people and talking to them," said Samuel Hopkins, a retired investment banker and fellow Republican. "I would describe him as a moderate in the political world. He thoroughly enjoyed serving on the pension board and was very conscientious in his duties."

Appointed to the Fire and Police Employees' Retirement System's board, on which he served from 1980 to 1991, he often visited firehouses and inspected equipment.

"He wasn't a real fire buff, but I don't think it would have been hard to have made him one," said Edward Heckrotte Sr., a retired firefighter and a former chairman of the pension board. "He took an exceptional interest in firefighters and the provisions made for their families."

Mr. Peace also served on the city's Friendship Airport Board in the 1960s, the board of visitors of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, the Baltimore Association of Commerce and the Greater Baltimore Committee, among other civic bodies.

He was a past president of the St. George's Society of Baltimore.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 E. University Parkway.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Ann Louise Thomas; three sons, Charles F. Peace IV of Baltimore, Thomas B. Peace of Lutherville and James H. Peace of Chestertown; a sister, Betty Peace Harris of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and six grandchildren.

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