Henry H. McNew Jr., excavating firm founder, passes away at age 88

Henry H. McNew Jr., founder of a Baltimore excavating firm who enjoyed collecting and maintaining vintage Fords, died Dec. 11 from a heart attack at his Rosedale home. He was 88.

Henry Harvey McNew Jr. was born and raised in Clinchburg, Va., and was the son of Henry H. McNew Sr., and his wife, Kathryn Kelly, both farmers.

He was a graduate of Abingdon Technical School in Washington County, Va., and in 1956 moved to Baltimore when he went to work in the machine shop of the old Glenn L. Martin Co., in Middle River.

In 1963, he and his wife, the former Dorothy Crenshaw, founded McNew Excavating Co. in Rosedale.

Some of the major projects that Mr. McNew worked on included the foundation for The Baltimore Sun printing plant and offices at Port Covington, as well as the electrical infrastructure for both the Ravens and Orioles stadiums.

“At the stadiums, they were electrical conduits and manholes,” said his son, Henry Dean McNew of Joppa, who now heads the company.

Other major clients included General Motors, Corp., Johns Hopkins Hospital, BWI Marshall Airport and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Mr. McNew, who was recalled by family members as a “real workhorse,” continued working until retiring in 2015.

The longtime Rosedale resident loved working on his two vintage cars, a 1930 Model A Ford with a rumble seat, and a 1950 four-door blue sedan.

He was a longtime member of Rosedale Baptist Church, where funeral services were held Saturday.

In addition to his wife of 66 years and his son, he is survived by two daughters, Catherine Rockman of Columbia and Linda Ryea of Rosedale; two sisters, Sarah Elizabeth Callahan of St. Leonard and Mae Goff of Stanley, N.C.; 10 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.


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