LeRoy L. Gamse, a retired chairman of the board of Gamse Lithographing Co. Inc., a longtime family-owned and -operated business in Baltimore, died of complications from heart disease Sunday at Roland Park Place.
The former Lutherville resident was 93.
He immersed himself in the label-manufacturing business for his entire working life - with an interruption during World War II - serving as chairman and vice president. "He not only was successful in the time that he ran it, he left a very good foundation for the next generation," said Dan Canzoniero, the owner and president who bought the company from the Gamse family. "He did business on a very high level."
Gamse Lithographing makes paper and plastic labels, posters and similar items for more than 300 customers that include major soft drink, beer and food manufacturers, according to the company's Web site.
The company was in the Gamse family for more than eight decades. It was started in 1896 by Mr. Gamse's father, Benno Gamse, and his father's cousin, Herman Gamse. The founders turned the company, which has expanded and modernized facilities on Pulaski Highway, over to their sons after World War II.
The family sold the company in 1983. Mr. Gamse stayed two more years to facilitate the transition.
Born in Baltimore, Mr. Gamse graduated from Forest Park High School in 1930 and received a bachelor's degree in business from the Johns Hopkins University in 1934. Though he earned a law degree from the University of Maryland in 1938, he did not practice law.
From 1942 to 1945 he was a lieutenant with the Army Corps of Engineers, serving in North Africa and Italy.
He returned to Baltimore to become the vice president of the family business, eventually running it with his cousin Nathaniel Gamse.
Mr. Gamse was in charge of sales, and his cousin, who served as president, ran the manufacturing side of the business.
"He was a consummate traveling salesman, traveling all over the country and to Puerto Rico bringing business into the company," said George Bacharach of Glen Arm, a stepson.
He married the former Ann Fisher Bacharach in 1971.
He was a longtime member of Har Sinai Congregation.
He enjoyed playing tennis at the Suburban Club and Homeland Racquet Club. He also enjoyed attending the opera. In retirement, he served as a docent at the Irvine Nature Center.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Sol Levinson and Bros. Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.
In addition to his stepson and wife of 35 years, survivors include another stepson, Robert Bacharach of Baldwin; a stepbrother, Maurice Levie of Baltimore; and four step-granddaughters.