William F. Gover
William F. Gover (Handout)

William F. Gover, a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. worker and farmer, died Sunday from heart failure at Forest Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center in Forest Hill. He was 91.

William Francis Gover, the son of William Stanley Gover, and his wife, Edna Adeline Maddox Gover, was born, raised and lived his entire life on his family’s Forest Hill farm.


He was a 1944 graduate of Bel Air Colored High School and during World War II worked at Edgewood Arsenal. Subsequently, he he sold insurance for the Mutual Benefit Society, worked construction and from 1975 to 1990, when he retired, worked as an electrician’s assistant at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant.

During this time, he also operated his 15-acre farm where he sold eggs to Klein’s Supermarket and to other customers in Baltimore and the surrounding counties. He was an active member of the Maryland Farm Bureau.

A deeply religious man, Mr. Gover was a lifelong member of Fairview African Methodist Episcopal Church where he ushered for 65 years, and was a member of the Interdenominational Church Ushers Association of Maryland who honored him in 2016 at their Usher’s Pressing On banquet.

He was also a trustee and longtime treasurer and a member of his church’s finance and building fund committees.

Active in Masonic affairs, Mr. Gover was a member of Deer Creek Lodge No. 103, and was a lifetime member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of Maryland where he had been secretary for more than three decades and had been lodge chaplain.

Mr. Gover was an inveterate traveler who looked forward to his annual trip to Harborfest in Oswego, New York. He also liked to attend Broadway shows and dinner theaters.

He also attended President Barack Obama’s first inaugural in 2009, family members said.

His wife of 43 years, the former Marie Brown, a Harford County administrator, died in 1992.

Funeral services will be held at his church, 2328 High Point Road, Forest Hill at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10.

Mr. Gover is survived by a son, Brian Gover of Oswego, New York; two daughters, Jean Gover of Edgewood and Carol Gover of Silver Spring; a sister, Edna Gover Ruff of Laurel: and many nieces and nephews.