Joseph William Zwobot, a retired construction engineer who had worked in Baltimore shipyards during World War II, died of emphysema Wednesday at his Queenstown home. He was 83.
Mr. Zwobot was born and raised in Union City, N.J., and was a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., where he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering.
During the war, Mr. Zwobot worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Fairfield shipyard, building Liberty ships. Because of his knowledge of structural steel beams, his co-workers gave him the nickname "Girder."
Mr. Zwobot worked as an engineer for more than 40 years for Crane & Crane and Holiday Universal, builders of Holiday Spas, before retiring in 1983.
The former Pikesville resident moved in 1986 to Queenstown, where he was active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and attained the rank of commander.
He enjoyed exploring the Chesapeake Bay aboard the Jayzee, his powerboat. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing and was interested in bay conservation issues.
Mr. Zwobot was a former member of Milford Mill United Methodist Church.
Plans for a memorial service were incomplete yesterday.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Mabel Corey; two sons, Robert J. Zwobot of Pasadena and Steven D. Zwobot of Woodstock; two daughters, Linda J. Zwobot of Chester and Rosemarie Meager of Reisterstown; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.