Robert E. DuVall, 81, welding company founder


Robert Emerson DuVall, founder and president of Mobile Welding Service who also was a champion trapshooter and former motorcyclist, died of cancer Friday at Carroll Lutheran Village. He was 81.

Mr. DuVall, who was born, raised and lived his entire life in Westminster, was a 1939 graduate of Westminster High School. During World War II, he served as a Marine marksman in the Pacific.

After the war, he returned to Westminster, where he established Mobile Welding Service in 1948. The company, which is known for its fleet of yellow trucks, specialized in repairing heavy equipment and structural-steel construction.

"He had not retired and was working two weeks before his death," said his son, Robert Emerson DuVall of Atlanta.

For years, Mr. DuVall was an avid motorcyclist before giving up the hobby in 1991.

"He liked riding Harleys and going cross-country," his son said. "We did a trip with our wives that took us from Carroll County to the Gulf Coast and then on to Juarez, Mexico. From there we went through the Rockies and across Canada. We did 14,000 miles in 31 days."

A trapshooter, Mr. DuVall was Maryland State Trapshooting Handicap champion in 1966. He also was a member of the Carroll County Winter League, North Carroll Gun Club and Carroll County Gun Club.

Mr. DuVall was a volunteer firefighter and had served as chief of the Westminster Fire Department.

He also was a member of Westminster United Methodist Church.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Pritts Funeral Home, 412 Washington Road, Westminster.

In addition to his son, Mr. DuVall is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Leona Hammett; a daughter, Donna Shaeffer of Westminster; a sister, Donna DuVall Sellman of Westminster; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

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