Frank C. Robey Jr.

For­mer Pat­ter­son High School prin­ci­pal served in the House of Del­e­gates and was a Bal­ti­more County of­fi­cial

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly jac­ques.kelly@balt­sun.com

Frank C. Robey Jr., a for­mer Bal­ti­more high school prin­ci­pal who was elected to the Maryland House of Del­e­gates and who went on to serve as Bal­ti­more County’s ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer, died of heart fail­ure Mon­day at Gilchrist Hos­pice Care in Tow­son. The Lutherville res­i­dent was 80.

Born in Bal­ti­more and raised on Wel­don Cir­cle, he was the son of Frank C. Robey Sr., the clerk of the Court of Com­mon Pleas and a Ham­p­den busi­ness owner, and his wife, El­iz­a­beth Joeckel. He was a 1953 grad­u­ate of City Col­lege, where he was a played foot­ball and soc­cer. He earned a Bach­e­lor of Arts de­gree at McDaniel Col­lege and a Mas­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion de­gree at Loy­ola Univer­sity Maryland. He re­ceived a cer­tifi­cate in ad­vanced study from the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity. He served in the Army from 1958 to 1960.

Mr. Robey joined the Bal­ti­more City Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and taught his­tory at South­ern High School. He be­came prin­ci­pal of Pat­ter­son High School and was later staff di­rec­tor in charge of data pro­cess­ing.

In 1967 he was a del­e­gate at the Maryland Con­sti­tu­tional Con­ven­tion.

“Frank was a smart fel­low who was well liked and was al­ways a tremen­dous vote-get­ter,” said Joseph J. Cur­ran, for­mer Maryland at­tor­ney gen­eral, who also served in An­napo­lis with Mr. Robey. “He was some­one you’d be proud to run with.”

Mr. Robey, as a res­i­dent of Orig­i­nal North­wood, suc­cess­fully ran for a seat in the Maryland House of Del­e­gates from the old 3rd Dis­trict of Bal­ti­more. He rose through the leg­is­la­ture’s ranks and be­came chair­man of the ap­pro­pri­a­tions sub­com­mit­tee. He was elected again un­til he was de­feated in the 1982 pri­mary elec­tion. His home base was re­dis­tricted and he last rep­re­sented the 44th Dis­trict.

“He was a hard-work­ing del­e­gate,” said for­mer state Sen­a­tor Ju­lian L. “Jack” Lapi­des, who headed one of Mr. Robey’s tick­ets. “He was fis­cally sound and knew the bud­get well. He was in­dus­tri­ous. He ran on the is­sues and not on prom­ises.”

In 1976 he split from other mem­bers of his dis­trict and op­posed the 1 p.m. start of Bal­ti­more Colts games at the old Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

“Mr. Robey main­tained that there are 15 churches in the sta­dium vicin­ity that would be af­fected by the 1 p.m., rather than the 2 p.m. start time be­cause of heavy traf­fic in the area be­fore a game,” The Sun re­ported at the time.

After leav­ing the House of Del­e­gates, he went on to be named di­rec­tor of the state’s Of­fice of Cen­tral Services, an agency of the Maryland Depart­ment of Gen­eral Services. In 1986 he was pro­moted to as­sis­tant sec­re­tary in the depart­ment of Gen­eral Services and ran the state’s telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion services.

In 1987, Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Den­nis F. Ras­mussen, who had served with Mr. Robey in the House of Del­e­gates, named him di­rec­tor of Bal­ti­more County’s cen­tral services. He later be­came the county’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer, the county’s top non-elected po­si­tion.

“Frank took the time to ed­u­cate me on the bud­get and the leg­isla­tive process in An­napo­lis,” said Mr. Ras­mussen. “We de­vel­oped a good friend­ship. He was loyal and was prop­erly mo­ti­vated. He was a good taskmas­ter. He ex­pected peo­ple to do their job. I se­lected him to get the county bet­ter or­ga­nized.” When­work­ing for Bal­ti­more County, Mr. Robey made an un­suc­cess­ful pitch to state trans­porta­tion of­fi­cials to in­clude a spur to serve cen­tral Tow­son dur­ing the plan­ning of the light rail line from Hunt Val­ley to Glen Burnie.

In early 1991 Mr. Robey re­signed his post when the county ad­min­is­tra­tion changed and Mr. Ras­mussen left of­fice.

He then be­came a fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor at Legg Ma­son and later at Smith Bar­ney.

“Frank was a smart, pas­sion­ate, and well re­spected fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor,” two col­leagues, Ron Mitcher­ling and Ryan Win­ter­stein wrote in an email. “He was the lead fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor and in­stru­men­tal in Legg Ma­son be­com­ing a par­tic­i­pant in the Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools 403-B re­tire­ment pro­gram. He helped count­less teach­ers, fac­ulty, and staff save to­ward their re­tire­ment. ... Frank was al­ways will­ing to go the ex­tra mile in pur­suit of help­ing oth­ers.”

Mr. Robey had served on the boards of the Maryland His­tor­i­cal Trust and the for­mer Western Maryland Col­lege.

He was a model train en­thu­si­ast and main­tained a lay­out in his garage.

Fu­neral services will be held at 10 a.m. Satur­day at Faith Pres­by­te­rian Church, 5400 Loch Raven Blvd., where he was a mem­ber.

Sur­vivors in­clude his wife of 58 years, the for­mer Joann Lat­shaw, a Bode floor­ing sales as­so­ci­ate; two sons, John An­drew Robey of Parkville and Matthew Evan Robey of Rochester, N.Y.; and three grand­sons. A son, Frank C. Robey III, died in 1974. Frank C. Robey Jr. was Bal­ti­more County’s top non-elected of­fi­cial.

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