Donald J. Schuerholz, a retired co-owner of a Baltimore consulting engineering firm and a former captain of the University of Maryland men's basketball team, died of heart failure May 2 at the Fairhaven Health Care Center in Sykesville. The former Ellicott City resident was 86.
His father, William Schuerholz, who coached the Loyola College men's basketball team from 1912 to 1926, had 10 children. Donald Schuerholz's elder brother, Gilbert, was an All-American soccer goaltender. His nephew is Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz.
"It was a very athletic family," said former Sun sports editor Bob Maisel. "Don had four brothers, and they formed a family team. He was tall, and he told me he'd hit his head on the ceiling "
Born in Baltimore and raised on East Cross Street, Mr. Schuerholz attended Southern High School, where he lettered in basketball for four years and graduated first in his class. He also played basketball in a hall atop the old Cross Street Market.
His studies at the University of Maryland were interrupted by World War II. Mr. Schuerholz enlisted in the Army Air Forces and taught navigation in a bomber training program. He led the Sioux City, Iowa, Air Force Base team to the Midwest AAU quarterfinals.
Back at College Park after the war, Mr. Schuerholz was captain of the basketball team for at least two years. Former coach H. Burton Shipley nicknamed him "Greased Lightning."
Mr. Schuerholz earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1947. After graduation, Mr. Schuerholz played professionally in the Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League for Harrisburg and Sunbury.
In a 1960 Evening Sun column, Shipley, who coached the University of Maryland basketball team from 1923 to 1947, said "Don Schuerholz was one of the best I ever coached."
He was a mechanical engineer with Whitman, Requardt and Associates for nine years before co-founding Miller, Schuerholz and Associates on St. Paul Street, later in the Village of Cross Keys. Mr. Schuerholz retired in 1987.
The firm designed government, commercial and private projects. He supervised renovations to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and helped design its heliport.
His firm designed a medical research laboratory facility in Lahore, Pakistan, under the auspices of the University of Maryland Medical School and the National Institutes of Health. His firm also designed classrooms, science buildings, dormitories and gymnasiums at the University of Maryland at College Park and Baltimore, Towson University, Loyola College, Salisbury University, Frostburg State University, St. Mary's College and Mount Saint Mary's University.
Other projects included work for the National Security Agency and the General Services Administration.
Mr. Schuerholz served on the boards of University of Maryland Engineering Alumni Association, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers -- Baltimore Chapter, the Baltimore Building Congress and Exchange, and the Baltimore Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute.
He was a member of the Baltimore Engineers Club, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Consulting Engineers Council, and the University of Maryland M Club and the Terrapin Club.
Services were held Wednesday in Ellicott City.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, the former Louise Hubl; a son, Donald J. Schuerholz Jr. of California; a daughter, Jeanne Rosenwald of Kilmarnock, Va.; a sister, Mary Horton of Parkville; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.