Francis E. Roddy, 89, federal worker


Francis Edward Roddy, a retired federal worker and former Veterans of Foreign Wars post commander who as a baby had a role in a silent film, died of respiratory failure Tuesday at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Lutherville man was 89.

Mr. Roddy was born and raised in Hell's Kitchen in New York City, where he graduated from high school. He joined the Army during World War II. His military service took him to the Pacific, where he fought until the end of the conflict. He participated in the liberation of the Philippines.

After he was discharged from the Army in 1946, Mr. Roddy moved to Baltimore, where he began a 30-year career as a civilian worker for what was then called the Army Signal Corps at Fort Meade. He was responsible for communications systems nationwide and often traveled as part of his job. He was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, in the 1960s.

Upon his retirement in the early 1980s, Mr. Roddy did volunteer work and community service. He was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10074 in Timonium. He served as post commander, senior vice commander and, at the time of his death, post quartermaster. He also served as a volunteer tour guide at the Maryland Science Center and spent time at the Beans and Bread soup kitchen.

He was a lifelong parishioner at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson, where he served as a lector.

Mr. Roddy had a lifelong love of the theater. His acting career began with a role as a baby in the silent movie Baby Mine in 1917. He worked with various local community theater groups - Cockpit in Cork, the Vagabond Players and the Heritage Players - and had roles in Barefoot in the Park, 1776 and West Side Story.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Immaculate Conception Church, 200 Ware Ave.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, the former Catherine Marie Hogan; four sons, Patrick H. Roddy of Parkville, Timothy E. Roddy of Lutherville, and Kevin M. Roddy and Terrence F. Roddy, both of Towson; and six grandchildren.

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