Charles Talbott “Bunky” Shaab, a retired executive at the old First National Bank who worked in the early stages of the emerging credit card industry, died in his sleep Nov. 1 at his home in the Homeland section of North Baltimore. He was 81.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville on Nunnery Lane, he was the son of Charles A. Shaab, a Lexington Market butcher, and Nina Talbott Shaab, a homemaker. He was a 1957 graduate of Catonsville Senior High School.
He began his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Johns Hopkins University.
He trained at Fort Bliss in Texas and served in the Maryland Air National Guard at the Glenn L. Martin Airport.
“Charlie was a knowledgeable guy,” said a friend, Frank Falter. “He was a very likable person who was informed about a little bit of everything.”
Mr. Shaab joined the old First National Bank of Maryland, where he met his future wife, Jane Matricciani, in 1967.
“Charlie was working in market research and he hired me,” she said.
They married two years later.
Mr. Shaab became the first president of Service Center Inc., a business on Woodlawn Drive that set up the organization and infrastructure for credit cards, which were gaining acceptance and popularity in the 1970s. He later joined Visa and retired in the 1990s.
Mr. Shaab established his own payroll accounting firm, Computer Center Inc., which he ran for several years. He later assisted his niece, Valerie Androutsopoulos, with her Vangel paper business on a part-time basis.
For many years he served on the board of directors of the Atlantic Federal Savings & Loan Association.
Mr. Shaab and his wife hosted family and friend gatherings at their Homeland home on Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays.
“In fact, almost any day was a good day for a Shaab family party,” said retired Court of Special Appeals Judge Albert J. Matricciani Jr., his brother-in-law. “Charlie was devoted to his family and friends. They were his vocation and his hobby.”
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He traveled to Italy with his wife and spent summers at the Wildwood, New Jersey, shore. He was an avid reader and took courses at a Johns Hopkins adult education program.
“There was no task too big or too small for Charlie to do,” said a family friend, June Streckfus. “He was also always present. He listened and he remembered conversations. He loved being with people and was truly a lover of life. He enjoyed long-term friendships.”
Peter Rosenwald, a friend and lunch companion, said: “Everyone looked forward to Charlie’s parties. And anyone who knew Charlie loved him.”
In addition to his wife of 51 years, Jane M. Shaab, associate vice president at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, survivors include three daughters, Kristen R. Shaab and Dr. Kerry R. Shaab of Baltimore and Dr. Kathryn R. Shaab of Chesterfield, Virginia, and his sister, N. Jane Link of Catonsville.