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John R. North, civil engineer

John R. North was a retired civil engineer and church organist from Parkton.
John R. North was a retired civil engineer and church organist from Parkton.(Baltimore Sun)

John R. North, a retired civil engineer and church organist, died March 6 at York Hospital in York, Pa., of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 77.

The son of Clyde M. North, a Green Spring Dairy stationary engineer, and Edna Erhardt North, a homemaker, John Richard North was born in Baltimore and raised in Parkville.

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He was a 1958 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and after earning a civil engineering degree in 1966 from the Johns Hopkins University, he served in the Maryland Air National Guard.

During his engineering career, Mr. North worked for the Williams Construction Co., Rouse Co., H.A. Harris and BEKA Industries as an estimator on heavy highway, building construction and bridge construction projects.

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In later years, he had his own company, where he worked until retiring in 2009.

A longtime Parkton resident, Mr. North was an accomplished musician who played a variety of instruments including the organ, piano and harpsichord.

Mr. North began playing the organ when he was 14 years old, and in 1996 earned a degree in organ performance from what is now the Community College Baltimore County Essex.

He had been church organist at several churches in Baltimore County and most recently was organist at St. James' Episcopal Church in Parkton.

During the 1990s, he was the accompanist on the harpsichord for the Goucher College dance troupe and for Choreographie Antique.

He had been a supporting member since 1983 of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. North was an accomplished woodworker and enjoyed reading and working crossword puzzles.

A celebration of Mr. North's life will be held at 11 a.m. March 28 at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, 419 Cedarcroft Road, Cedarcroft, where he was a longtime member.

Mr. North is survived by his wife of 24 years, the former Virginia "Ginny" Rublee; two daughters, Karis L. North of Hull, Mass., and Martha North Gaudio of Redding, Conn.; a brother, Robert C. North of Centreville; three stepsons, Mark T. Duvall of Hampstead, Scott E. Duvall of Philadelphia and Jon Duvall of White Post, Va.; and two grandsons. An earlier marriage to the former Joyce Metzger ended in divorce.

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