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Edward E. Rothe, a retired BGE operating engineer who was active in the community, dies

Edward E. Rothe was a former president of the Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.
Edward E. Rothe was a former president of the Dundalk Chamber of Commerce. (Handout / HANDOUT)

Edward E. Rothe, a retired Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. operating engineer who was active in civic affairs, died June 8 of undetermined causes at his longtime Dundalk home. He was 99.

Edward Earnest Rothe, son of William George Rothe, a copper worker, and his wife, Grace Butler Hill Rothe, a homemaker, was born and raised in Canton and graduated from Patterson High School.

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He worked for the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River before continuing his education at Iowa State University and at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska, where he was a naval air cadet and trained as a pilot.

During World War II, he served with the Navy in the Pacific theater until being discharged with the rank of quartermaster in 1945.

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Mr. Rothe then went to work for Esso at its Canton refinery as chief operator of its catalytic cracking unit, and when the refinery ceased operation in 1957, he joined BGE as an operating engineer. He retired in 1986.

Because of his work with the utility’s Government Affairs Program and Legislative Response Committee, Mr. Rothe earned its Volunteer of the Year Award in 1983.

Mr. Rothe was active in Dundalk community affairs and had been president of the Dundalk Rotary Club in 1974. During his tenure, the Rotary Club commissioned students at Southeast Vocational Technical High School, which is now Sollers/Southeast Technical High School, to build park benches, which the Rotary installed at local bus stops.

In 1982, Mr. Rothe, who was known as Ed, was elected president of the Dundalk Chamber of Commerce which under his leadership completed a report on economic conditions affecting old Original Dundalk that led to its revitalization.

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And when the chamber’s membership increased by 30%, it was designated a Small Business Resource Center. He was also a charter member of the board of Alliance Incorporated, an agency located in the North Point Government Center whose mission was to promote economic and social independence for those with disabilities, and was director of its Factory Division for five years.

He also volunteered his time with the Baltimore County Board of Education, where he served as vice president of the Southeast Advisory Council, and served on the gifted and talented committee and the values and ethical behavior task force.

Mr. Rothe was a member of the Greater Dundalk Commission for Community Excellence, the Dundalk Chapter of the AARP, and Sparrows Point County Club.

He was a communicant of St. Rita Roman Catholic Church.

Mr. Rothe, who had lived on Dunglow Road since 1955, was a subscriber to the Dundalk Concert Association, Dundalk Community Theater, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Opera Company.

Mr. Rothe married his wife, the former Ethel Griffin, in 1947, and they were world travelers.

Funeral services were held Wednesday at the Duda-Ruck Funeral Home in Dundalk.

In addition to his wife, a retired Baltimore County public schools guidance counselor, he is survived by his daughter, Janet R. Tjarks of Dundalk, and four grandchildren. A son, Robert E. Rothe, died in 2006, and a son, Edward W. Rothe, died in 2019.

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