Gurney Leatherwood worked as a telecommunications specialist with B&O and CSX, and also served in the Maryland National Guard.
Gurney Leatherwood worked as a telecommunications specialist with B&O and CSX, and also served in the Maryland National Guard. (Handout)

Gurney Leon Leatherwood, a retired CSX telecommunications worker and an Air Force veteran, died from lung cancer on Thursday at his Ellicott City home. He was 84.

Born and raised in Mount Airy, he was the son of W. Russell Leatherwood, a painter, and Anna Molesworth Leatherwood, a boarding house operator.

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He graduated in 1952 from Mount Airy High School and the next year took a job working in communications for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

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Mr. Leatherwood enlisted in the Air Force in 1955 and attained the rank of master sergeant. He subsequently served in the Air Force Reserves and the North Dakota Air National Guard until 1963.

In 1979, he joined the Maryland National Guard and served as a combat engineer until being discharged as an E-8 in 1992.

He returned to Baltimore in 1963 and worked as an electronics technician at Bendix Corp. on East Joppa Road in Towson for two years. He then returned to the B&O and its telecommunications division. He retired in 1996 from successor company CSX.

An outdoorsman, Mr. Leatherwood enjoyed hunting.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 21 in the chapel of Bethany United Methodist Church, 2875 Bethany Lane, Ellicott City.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Neva Hartman, who was a pastor at Mount Washington United Methodist Church; two sons, Glenn Leatherwood of Omaha and Dan Leatherwood of Chester Springs, Pa.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Another son, Dale Leatherwood, died in 2000.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen

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