Jerome J. Egan Jr., a retired Social Security Administration systems analyst who was a devoted and active communicant of St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Govans, died of complications from Parkinson’s disease Aug. 27 at Roland Park Place. The former longtime Homeland resident was 85.
“He was well liked. Everybody liked Jerry,” said Edmond B. Nolley of Homeland, a longtime parishioner of St. Mary’s Govans and a close friend. “He was quiet, unassuming and wasn’t afraid to speak up when he had a concern about anything. He was just a wonderful, wonderful man.”
Jerome Joseph Egan Jr. was the son of Irish immigrant parents from County Offaly who came to Baltimore in the late 1800s. He was born in Baltimore in 1936 and raised in Waverly. His father, Jerome J. Egan Sr., was a Maryland National Bank banker, and his wife, Susannah Cushwa Egan, was a homemaker.
His maternal great-grandfather, Victor Cushwa, was the founder of Victor Cushwa & Sons, which produced bricks and supplied coal from its headquarters in Williamsport in Washington County.
After graduating in 1950 from Blessed Sacrament on Old York Road in Waverly, Mr. Egan graduated four years later from Loyola Blakefield. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1958 from what is now Loyola University Maryland, and worked briefly in accounting before joining the old Maryland National Bank Trust Department at its art deco headquarters at East Baltimore and Light streets, now 10 Light Street.
In 1964, Mr. Egan married the former Margaret Staunton Tracey of Scarsdale, New York, and in 1968, the couple and their two toddlers moved to Scarsdale when he went to work as a programmer for IBM in White Plains, New York.
Missing Baltimore, they returned to the city in 1970 with three children, and he joined Mercantile Bank. In 1973, he began a career as a programmer analyst for the Social Security Administration at its Woodlawn headquarters, where he worked for more than two decades before retiring in the late 1990s.
A community activist, Mr. Egan, who lived on Broadmoor Road in Homeland for 50 years, was a founding member of the York Road Planning Area Committee and was chair of the York-Woodbourne Action Area during the 1970s and 1980s.
“These groups built successful partnerships between businesses and the communities along the east and west side of York Road between 39th Street and the Baltimore County line, enhancing the quality of life for residents and businesses alike,” according to a profile of Mr. Egan that was submitted by his family.
In addition to his family, the center of Mr. Egan’s life was St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church, more commonly known as St. Mary’s Govans, where he had served as a Eucharistic minister for 45 years, and was elected to the church’s Parish Council numerous times.
Monsignor Thomas J. Tewes was pastor of St. Mary’s from 1974 to 1984.
“Jerry was an engaging guy and a very decent and kind man,” Monsignor Tewes said. “He was a good conversationalist, was concerned about our community, and was very much in the center of our parish life.”
Mr. Nolley described Mr. Egan as “one of our most active parishioners at St. Mary’s.”
“He worked hard for diversity and was very sensitive about that,” he said. “He was a stickler for the traditional Mass, and if something didn’t happen, like a candle was lit or a book was in the wrong place, he’d bring it up in a very diplomatic way. And even though he had moved to Roland Park Place and didn’t get to St. Mary’s as often as he once did, he still was interested in the church and what was happening there.”
Mr. Egan represented St. Mary’s as a member of BUILD — Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development. During the 1970s, he and his wife led a program for the church’s teenagers, and he also served as treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 113, where he collected cash receipts from its annual Christmas tree sale for 14 years.
“He made nightly visits to the Christmas tree lot ... where the Scouts kept a bonfire burning to stay warm,” wrote a daughter, Margaret Egan “Meg” Auderest of Frederick, in a profile of her father. “Mr. Egan’s family grew to expect him to smell like wood smoke during the Christmas season.”
After retiring from the Social Security Administration, he worked as a math tutor of school-age children and volunteered with Food for Thought in East Baltimore.
He was a member of the boards of Mercy High School and the Homeland Association, and had been for many years treasurer of the Friends of the Govans Library.
Mr. Egan, who had moved to Roland Park Place in 2019, enjoyed family vacations at a cabin on West Stoner Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, and also at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He also had traveled to Europe several times, but Ireland always remained a favorite destination.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Jan. 3 at his church at 5202 York Road, Govans.
In addition to Mr. Egan’s wife of 57 years and daughter, he is survived by two sons, Jerome J. Egan III of Bellona-Gittings and James Calder Egan of Lutherville; another daughter, Rebecca Egan Hogg of Rodgers Forge; a sister, Susannah Egan Holstein of Hanover, Pennsylvania; and nine grandchildren.