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John J. Dohony Jr., Western Electric manager and real estate salesman

John J. Dohony Jr., Western Electric manager and real estate salesman
John J. Dohony Jr.,  a Western Electric division manager who later sold real estate, died June 22. (HANDOUT)

John J. "Jack" Dohony Jr., a retired Western Electric divisional manager who was later active in the Telecom Pioneers, died of pneumonia June 22 at Sinai Hospital. The lifelong Northeast Baltimore resident was 88.

Born in Baltimore, he was the son of John J. Dohony Sr., a Baltimore police sergeant, and Elizabeth Shue, and raised on Cardenas Avenue in Belair-Edison. He attended the Shrine of the Little Flower School and was a 1947 graduate of Loyola High School at Blakefield.

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He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Georgetown University and later received a master's degree from George Washington University.

In 1952 Mr. Dohony joined the Air Force and taught at its Officers Candidate School in San Antonio. He left the military in 1957.

While a Georgetown student, he met his future wife, Mary Catherine "Kitty" Kelly, who was a student at Trinity College in Northeast Washington.

Mr. Dohony joined the Western Electric Company, now Lucent Technologies, in 1957 at the old Point Breeze Works on Broening Highway. He initially worked in public and community relations for the firm, which was the manufacturing arm of the Bell Telephone system.

He was later a department head in the manufacturing operations and oversaw cable production. He retired in 1985 when the plant closed after the court-ordered breakup of AT&T.

"My father was a champion for civil rights in the 1960s at Western Electric. He worked to integrate the lunchrooms and the washrooms," said his son, Robert L. Dohony of Essex. "He was also a part of the integration of Gwynn Oak Park in the 1960s."

After retiring from Western Electric, Mr. Dohony began selling residential real estate for Coldwell Banker and later O'Connor, Piper and Flynn.

"He had a vast knowledge of Northeast Baltimore — he had lived on Bayonne Avenue for decades," said his son. "He had people skills. He understood people, and he cared about them. He had a successful second career."

After retiring from real estate work in 1998, Mr. Dohony took up community service. He was involved in the Christian Family Ministries, Genesis Jobs, the Franciscan Center, Harbel Community Organization and the Telephone Pioneers. He was a past president of the Atlantic Coast chapter of the Telecom Pioneers.

Mr. Dohony opened his home to foreign exchange students and families through his volunteer work. He hosted students and families from all over the world.

Mr. Dohony was also a volunteer for Loyola High School, Archbishop Curley High School and the Institute of Notre Dame.

"John was gracious. He was always a gentleman. He used his talents for others," said the Rev. Donald Grzymski, president of Archbishop Curley High School. "He never seemed to be rattled, and he cared about his family."

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church, Harford Road at Gibbons Avenue, where he was a member and lector.

Survivors include five other sons, John J. Dohony III of Prince Frederick, Daniel P Dohony of Ambler, Pa., Kevin N. Dohony of Parkton, James M. Dohony of Baltimore and Joseph P. Dohony of Towson; a daughter, Mary Lou Gercke of Bel Air; his companion of many years, Tess Creamer of Towson; 19 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His wife of 38 years, a school guidance department secretary, died in 1991.

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