William Woodrow Cusick, a retired BGE inspector, died of cancer Friday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care.
The Timonium resident was 79.
He was born in Baltimore, and grew up in the city, attending city schools.
Mr. Cusick's family said his father, Joseph Houston Cusick, sent him to live at the Woodburn Home in Baltimore after his mother, Edith Willey Cusick, left his father. He lived at the foster care home from age 9 until 16, when he returned to live with his father.
He served with the Army Air Forces in World War II, and was stationed in Hawaii. He was a lifeguard there.
While there, he played football for the team at the base, the Hickham Bombers.
After he was honorably discharged from the military, he returned to Baltimore and worked for ABC Vending Co. in Baltimore, servicing machines.
He married Lorraine Hobbs in 1956.
He began working for BGE as a pole inspector in 1958 and retired from the utility company in 1989.
In 1951, he won first prize for his singing on National Amateur Parade on WMAR-TV.
He sang with the B&O; Glee Club in Baltimore.
"He had a lovely voice. And he loved to play piano, and he played by ear," said Mrs. Cusick.
For more than 25 years, he volunteered as an entertainer at nursing homes, playing piano, singing and telling jokes.
He enjoyed vegetable gardening and sharing his tomato harvest with friends.
A private memorial service is being planned.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter, Lisa May Cusick of Dundalk; a brother, Sherman Cusick of Montross, Va.; a sister, Betty Caudill of Bel Air; a stepbrother, Joseph Cucina of Prattville, Ala.; six half-brothers, Melvin Cusick of Boyertown, Pa., James Cusick, Richard Cusick, Tommy Cusick and Carlton Cusick of Baltimore, and Donald Cusick of New Windsor; and three half-sisters, Anita Lease and Bernice Bowen of Baltimore, and Marie Cusick of West Virginia.