John C. "Jack" Haigh, a career banker who had been president and CEO of Baltimore Bancorp, died of gall bladder cancer Sunday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium.

The former longtime Towson resident, who had lived for the past several years in New Freedom, Pa., was 79.

Born and raised in Abington, Pa., Mr. Haig was a 1952 graduate of Villanova University. He began his banking career that year with Commercial Credit Corp., where he remained for the next two decades.

He later worked for Mercantile Bank and the First Chicago Bank before joining the Savings Bank of Baltimore in 1975.

He served as president of the Savers Leasing Corp., a subsidiary of the bank, from 1980 until being promoted to executive vice president in 1983, where he was responsible for all bank investments.

In 1987, Mr. Haigh was named president and CEO of Baltimore Bancorp, the parent company of the Bank of Baltimore, and held those positions until 1991, when he took early retirement.

Mr. Haigh was a former member of the board of Calvert Hall College High School and had been the recipient of Villanova's President's Forum Award in 1995.

An avid powerboater, he had been a charter member of the Baltimore Yacht Club and enjoyed taking weekend trips aboard his boat. He was also a golfer and a member of Eagles Nest Country Club and the Towson Golf & Country Club.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 103 Church Lane, Cockeysville.

Surviving are his wife of 33 years, the former Bonnye Phipps; two stepsons, J. Christopher Persico of Severna Park and Peter James Persico of Glastonbury, Conn.; a stepdaughter, Cheri C. Brown of Phoenix, Baltimore County; a sister, Jane Ertel of North Carolina; and six grandchildren. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.

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