Edward Francis Kness, an electrical engineer who enjoyed collecting vintage Lionel electric trains, died of a heart attack Wednesday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. The Sparks resident was 69.
Mr. Kness was born in Baltimore and raised in the city's Homestead neighborhood. He was a 1956 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School and earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1960 from the University of Notre Dame. In 1974, he earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
He served as an Air Force communications-electronics officer with the 26th Air Division from 1960 to 1963, when he was discharged with the rank of captain.
Mr. Kness worked in the undersea division of Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Linthicum for several years before joining IBM as a systems engineer in 1968. He retired from the company in 1987.
For the past two decades, he owned and operated Cardinal Consulting, which took its name from his high school's mascot, at his Sparks home.
A lifelong model railroad fan, Mr. Kness collected O-gauge Lionel trains from the 1940s and early 1950s.
"When he was a kid, he had a very large layout in his home. In recent years, he liked displaying them and setting them up for the grandchildren at Christmastime," said a son, S. Timothy Kness of Boston.
Mr. Kness also enjoyed taking his grandchildren to the B&O; Railroad Museum, his son said.
Other hobbies included golf and playing the piano.
He was a member of St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Community in Hunt Valley, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.
Also surviving are his wife of 47 years, the former Kay Garrity; two other sons, Kirk E. Kness of Baltimore and Colin P. Kness of Lutherville; a daughter, Heather Elizabeth Kness of Sparks; and five grandchildren.