Harry J. Banahan Sr., a former purchasing director at the old Baltimore Civic Center and manager of sporting good stores, died Feb. 5 of cancer at St. Martin's Home in Catonsville. He was 98.
The son of William Banahan, a B&O Railroad worker, and Minnie Banahan, a homemaker, Harry John Banahan was born at home in a McHenry Street rowhouse.
In 1927, his family moved to Ellsworth Avenue in East Baltimore, and he received his education at several parochial schools. He later earned his General Educational Development certificate.
When he was 16, he entered the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked in Virginia helping to construct Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.
In the mid-1930s, he began a machinist apprenticeship at the B&O Railroad's Mount Clare Shop, and when he was furloughed, returned to the CCC. After being called back to the railroad in 1938, he worked there briefly before taking a job at the Koppers Co. inspecting machine parts.
He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946, and after being discharged, worked for Triangle Sporting Goods, then opened an Esso filling station with a partner in East Baltimore. He then took a job in 1948 testing guns at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and in 1954 returned to Triangle Sporting Goods in charge of outside sales.
Upon retiring in 1979, he and his wife, the former Ella Schroeder, whom he had married in 1942, opened Shamrock Sporting Goods in Aberdeen. They later sold the business.
At the suggestion of friend Mayor William Donald Schaefer, he took a position in 1981 at the Civic Center directing purchasing.
His wife died in 1995, and he retired the next year.
He enjoyed working on political campaigns and was a regular participant in Baltimore's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Plans for a graveside service, to be held at Loudon Park Cemetery this month, are incomplete.
He is survived by a son, Patrick Michael Banahan of Baltimore; a daughter, Jennifer Bean-Dempsey of Ellicott City; a brother, Francis "Frank" Banahan of Hampstead; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Another son, Harry J. Banahan Jr., died in 2012.
— Frederick N. Rasmussen