Charles Edward Rappold, a WMAR-TV engineer and local broadcasting pioneer, died of Alzheimer's disease June 19 at Brookdale Assisted Living in Towson. The Glen Arm resident was 92.
Born in Baltimore and raised near Clifton Park, he was the son of Charles Christian Rappold, who owned a jitney service and auto agency, and Lillian Mae Rappold.
A 1941 Polytechnic Institute graduate, Mr. Rappold attended the University of Virginia and West Virginia University.
He enlisted in the Navy and married his childhood sweetheart, Shirley Jenkins, in Pensacola, Fla., after being commissioned as a second lieutenant. The Navy pilot was assigned to submarine spotting missions along the Atlantic Coast during World War II.
Mr. Rappold remained in the Navy Reserve and retired in the 1960s as a lieutenant commander. He belonged to the Fleet Reserve and was a flagbearer at military funerals.
After World War II, he earned a degree in electrical engineering at the Chicago Institute of Technology. He joined WMAR-TV and was among its first camera operators and engineers when the station went on the air in 1947.
Family members said Mr. Rappold was involved in the production of the old "Stu Kerr Show," "Cooking with Ann Mar" and "The Port that Built a City and State" with Helen Delich Bentley.
He was a camera operator for Baltimore Orioles games at Memorial Stadium and at Christmas Eve Masses at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
He retired in 1987 after 40 years at WMAR.
In his spare time, Mr. Rappold sold residential real estate in Baltimore and Harford counties, and won sales contests.
"If he had an open house, and he found the place was not in good order, he'd be in the kitchen washing dishes," said a daughter, Leslie Wietscher of Towson.
He collected toys for the Toys for Tots drive. He was a woodcarver and enjoyed travel. Family members said he was a devoted grandfather who liked to build sand castles at Ocean City for his grandchildren.
He was also a Civil War buff who enjoyed spending afternoons reading plaques at Gettysburg.
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He and his family lived for many years in Glen Arm.
"My father loved to work. He was an early riser. He lived on 21/2 wooded acres. He seemed always to be outdoors with his chain saw," said his daughter. "My mother used a whistle to call him into the house. He shoveled his own snow until he was 88."