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Peter A. B. Hoblitzell Jr., retired insurance company executive, dies

Peter A. B. Hoblitzell Jr. was chairman of the board at Poor, Bowen, Bartlett and Kennedy Inc. and American Phoenix Corp. of Maryland.
Peter A. B. Hoblitzell Jr. was chairman of the board at Poor, Bowen, Bartlett and Kennedy Inc. and American Phoenix Corp. of Maryland. (Handout)

Peter A. B. Hoblitzell Jr., a retired insurance company executive and former chairman of the American Phoenix Corp. of Maryland, died Friday at Gilchrist Center Towson of a stroke after heart-valve replacement surgery.

The longtime Owings Mills resident was 86.

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Peter Arrell Browne Hoblitzell Jr. was born in Baltimore and raised on West University Parkway. He was the son of Peter A. B. Hoblitzell, an investment executive with the old John C. Legg Co., and his wife, Audrey Hart Hoblitzell, a homemaker.

Mr. Hoblitzell attended St. Paul’s School in Brooklandville and graduated in 1951 from the Hun School in Princeton, N.J. He attended the University of Virginia, where he played varsity lacrosse and was a member of its 1951 winning national championship team, was active in ROTC and was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity.

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Mr. Hoblitzell left Virginia in 1953 and enlisted in the Army, where he served with the Medical Corps as a classification and assignment interviewer until being discharged in 1961.

Isabella "Sissy" Hoblitzell, 81, died Sunday of complications from dementia at her Owings Mills home.

He went to work as a banker for Fidelity & Deposit Co., and three years later, joined James Dixon Bartlett, his father-in-law, at Poor, Bowen, Bartlett and Kennedy Inc., one of Baltimore’s oldest insurance brokerages, as an underwriter.

He rose to corporate account executive and in 1974 was named president and chairman of the company’s board.

After his company merged with J.B. Schaftel Co. in 1992, it became known as the American Phoenix Corp. of Maryland, where he remained as chairman of the board until retiring in 1998.

During his career, he had been president of the Binder Club and had served on several boards, some of which included the National Association of Casualty & Surety Agents.

He remained a lifelong lacrosse fan and continued to play with his children and grandchildren, and rarely missed a Virginia game on television, or in person when the Cavaliers played in Maryland.

Carl Beernink, a Brown Advisory investment counselor, was a three-time All America lacrosse player at Towson State.

Mr. Hoblitzell enjoyed playing tennis and played well into his 80s. He also liked working in his flower and vegetable gardens, fishing for mackerel, preparing gourmet dinners and attending dinner parties. He liked spending summers at a second home in Chester, Nova Scotia. An accomplished storyteller, he had an eye and ear for people, places and detail.

Mr. Hoblitzell had been a member of the Maryland Club, Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, Center Club, Merchant’s Club, Bachelor’s Cotillion, and the University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson Society of Alumni.

His wife of 62 years, the former Isabella Howard “Sissy” Bartlett, died in 2017.

Mr. Hoblitzell was a longtime communicant of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Owings Mills.

A celebration of life gathering will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club at 30 Greenspring Valley Road in Owings Mills.

He is survived by two sons, Peter A. B. “Toby” Hoblitzell III of Owings Mills and Thomas Hoblitzell of Ruxton; two daughters, Juliana “Scotty” Tompkins of Myersville and Alexandra Hoblitzell Heintz of Manchester, Vt.; and eight grandchildren.

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