John A. Bartgis, the former publications manager and senior copy editor in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, died Oct. 28 at Good Samaritan Hospital of acute pancreatitis. He was 87.
The son of Lewis Grover Cleveland Bartgis, a carpenter, and Helen Louise Six Bartgis, John Alfred Bartgis was born and raised in Frederick, where he graduated in 1944 from Frederick High School.
He served as a quartermaster in the Navy from 1944 to 1946, when he began his newspaper career as a reporter for The Frederick-News Post, under the aegis of the Veterans Administration, which provided on-the-job training.
Mr. Bartgis remained at the newspaper until 1950, when he became the suburban news editor on The Express in Easton, Pa. From 1952 to 1955, he was assistant telegraph editor on The Globe-Times in Bethlehem, Pa.
In 1955, he joined the staff of The Baltimore Sun, where he worked as a copy editor and sometimes as a slotman and cable editor.
Mr. Bartgis was appointed assistant metropolitan editor for The Washington Star in 1965 and remained in that position until the paper ceased publication in 1981.
From 1982 until retiring in 1996, Mr. Bartgis was publications manager and senior copy editor in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
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In addition to editing copy, his responsibilities included writing class notes and faculty notes for Hopkins Medical News, the School of Medicine's magazine. He also wrote news releases and proofread all camera-boards and bluelines for publications.
The former resident of Greenlawn Road in Woodlawn moved to Oak Crest Village in Parkville in 2002.
He continued doing freelance editing work.
"He edited The Village Voice, which was the Oak Crest newspaper, until it closed down some months ago. In fact, they retired its name so it could not be used again," said his daughter, Kimberly B. Friedrich of Old Town Alexandria, Va. "His life was all about writing and editing, and it revolved all around newspapering."
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 22 in the retirement community's chapel, 8820 Walther Blvd.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Bartgis is survived by his wife of 64 years, the former Ruth Bryant; a son, Kevin W. Bartgis of Towson; and two grandsons.