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George A. Eckert Jr., 75, business owner, gardener


George A. Eckert Jr., founder of a Baltimore ornamental iron and fabrication company, died of progressive supranuclear palsy Sunday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. He was 75 and lived in Woodstock, Howard County.

Mr. Eckert was born and reared in South Baltimore. He was a 1947 graduate of Southern High School where he played baseball, basketball and football.

After graduating from high school, he was drafted by the Orioles' International League farm team.

"He came home after a few months because he was homesick," said his wife of 53 years, the former Lorraine Betz. After working for Koppers Co. and Westinghouse Corp., he established and served as president of George A. Eckert Co. Inc. He retired in 1996 after selling the ornamental iron business on Hafer Street in West Baltimore.

While living in Linthicum, Mr. Eckert was a founding communicant of St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church. He was also a 50-year member of the Masons.

A tenor, he enjoyed singing with the Patapsco Valley Chorus. He also was a past president of the Ellicott City Kiwanis.

He enjoyed gardening and attending his children's horse shows.

Services were held Thursday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Eckert is survived by two daughters, Victoria K. Boetker of Lincoln, Del., and Susan Carol Hoffert of Niagara Falls, N.Y., and seven grandchildren.

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