George W. Towle, retired accountant and school activist, dies

George W. Towle, a certified public accountant and Baltimore County Republican campaign volunteer, died Monday at his Timonium home of complications from metastatic prostate cancer. He was 76.

Born in the Park Chester section of the Bronx, N.Y., he was the son of George Albert Towle, a beverage distributor, and his wife, Edna Mae Poellot. He later lived in Hartford, Conn. and Wrentham, Mass. before settling in Bethel Park, Pa.

As a youngster he played Little League baseball, and while a student at Bethel Park High School he was on the varsity baseball team, playing left field. He also performed with the school’s marching band and was on the debate team.

He obtained a degree at Grove City College, where he won the Pi Kappa Delta Speech Award his senior year. He became interested in politics and closely followed the presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon.

While serving in the Air National Guard he met his future wife, Marcia Dawn Bobo, at what was then Friendship Airport, now Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

“My husband remained proud of his alma mater, a conservative institution holding values of faith, freedom, scholarship, service, independence, entrepreneurship and charity,” said his wife, a former teacher and production manager for Media Dimensions Inc.

Mr. Towle moved to Baltimore in 1964 and lived in the Loch Raven area. He started with the accounting firm, Haskins & Sells, now Deloitte & Touche. He later worked for Sun Life Insurance Co. of America, Lion Brothers Manufacturing Co., ROI Manufacturing Co. and Valley Lighting’s Shading Division. He retired in 2016.

“My father was an intelligent and compassionate person who was confident but never arrogant or cocky,” said his son, G. Matthew Towle of West Friendship. “He was also a great father.”

Mr. Towle taught accounting at Towson University, where he was an adjunct professor.

He maintained a private accounting and consulting practice, first on York Road near Wiltondale and later in a Lutherville office.

A Republican, Mr. Towle was interested in local politics, and became an education advocate when Baltimore County’s Department of Education began to close elementary schools as a result of a drop in school population as the Baby Boom declined.

He later served as treasurer for the campaign of Martha Klima, who served for 20 years in the Maryland House of Delegates.

“George Towle has been a visionary for as long as I have known him,” Ms. Klima said. “In the late ’70s when our school district was faced with closing two elementary schools, our neighbors worked to keep Hampton [Elementary] open. My respect and friendship began with George as part of the team way back then.”

“He was one of my most active supporters when I decided to run for the Maryland House of Delegates in 1982 and was my campaign treasurer for over 20 years,” she said. “At his urging, I was one of the first delegates to explore using a computer for my legislative office.

“George was committed and dedicated to his community… [and] active with recreation council sports, politics, church and neighborhood issues. I always appreciated his quick wit and platonic sense of reality,” she said. “What a leader and friend.”

Mr. Towle also served as Ellen Sauerbrey’s director of field operations in the GOP nominee’s 1994 and 1998 campaigns for governor.

“George dedicated much of his time to promoting candidates who shared his belief in traditional values and Constitutional government. In my campaign for governor, he organized and motivated the best field organization a Maryland Republican candidate had ever mustered,” said Ms. Sauerbrey.

She also said: “He was a determined and dedicated person who spent a lot of time working for me, time he could have spent on other duties. He was the one who tells you how many persons voted and where they voted. As a businessman, he understood how taxes and regulation affected a company.”

Mr. Towle was also campaign treasurer from 2009 to 2012 for another Republican, William “Bill” Frank, who served in the Maryland House of Delegates.

He was a member and past president of the Cockeysville-Timonium Jaycees, and was also a member of the Maryland Association of CPAs and the group, Printing Industries Financial Executives.

He was a lifelong baseball fan, and coached his children in baseball, basketball and soccer.

“His passion, in later years, has been watching his grandchildren in their athletic activities — lacrosse, cross country and hockey,” his wife said.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, 200 Ware Ave. in Towson, where he was a member and past president of the parish’s school board.

In addition to his wife of 52 years and his son, survivors include a daughter, Elizabeth Ryan of Timonium; a brother, Roger K. Towle of Grove City, Pa.; and eight grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
34°