Herbert M. Katzen­berg

The busi­ness­man, phi­lan­thropist and World War II vet­eran en­joyed ca­noe­ing and play­ing ten­nis

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Fred­er­ick N. Ras­mussen fras­mussen@balt­sun.com

Herbert M. Katzen­berg, a re­tired Bal­ti­more banker and real es­tate in­vestor who was a founder of the Bal­ti­more Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion and co-founder of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bal­ti­more Area Grant­mak­ers, died Oct. 30 of pneu­mo­nia at his Roland Park Place home. He was 97. “Herb was the con­sum­mate gen­tle­man. He was also a busi­ness­man and phi­lan­thropist,” said Shel­don Gold­seker, chair­man of the Gold­seker Foun­da­tion. “He was kind, thought­ful, eth­i­cal and in­tel­li­gent. He was low-key, friendly and kind. He was one of a kind.”

The son of Ber­ney B. Katzen­berg Sr., a co-founder of Katzen­berg Bros., a Bal­ti­more uni­form and frock com­pany, and Selma Heyn Katzen­berg, a home­maker, Herbert Meyer Katzen­berg was born in Bal­ti­more and raised on West Rogers Av­enue in Mount Wash­ing­ton.

From 1933 to 1936, he spent sum­mers at Camp Ken­nebec in North Bel­grade, Maine, where he de­vel­oped his life­long love of that state.

“Our par­ents were good friends — and we were good friends — and each sum­mer we went to Camp Ken­nebec to­gether,” said B. Bernei Bur­gun­der Jr., a semire­tired Wash­ing­ton busi­ness­man. “He was a won­der­ful guy and an out­stand­ing camper. He was out­go­ing and friendly. Ev­ery year, he won the Best Camper award.”

Mr. Katzen­berg at­tended Robert E. Lee School 49 on Cathe­dral Street and grad­u­ated in 1936 from For­est Park High School. He earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in com­merce in 1940 from the Univer­sity of Vir­ginia.

Fam­ily mem­bers said one of Mr. Katzen­berg’s en­dur­ing col­lege mem­o­ries was be­ing present when Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt, the school’s com­mence­ment speaker, de­clared in a his­toric speech af­ter Ital­ian dic­ta­tor Ben­ito Mus­solini’s armed forces in­vaded France: “On this tenth day of June nine­teen hun­dred and forty, the hand that held the dag­ger has stuck it into the back of its neigh­bor.”

Mr. Katzen­berg en­listed in the Navy in Septem­ber 1941 and was com­mis­sioned an en­sign the next year, then be­came a lieu­tenant in 1943. He was ap­pointed com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of USS Patrol Craft 1203 which of­fered pro­tec­tion to con­voys headed across the At­lantic to the Caribbean and Africa.

In 1944, he was named tem­po­rary com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of USS OC 1203, a sub­ma­rine chaser that hunted Ger­man U-boats in the Dutch West Indies and the Panama Canal.

He was as­signed in 1945 as com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of the Navy’s Patrol Craft Es­cort 870, the USS Da­nia, at Pearl Har­bor, where he and his crew pre­pared for an in­va­sion of Ja­pan.

Mr. Katzen­berg was dis­charged in 1945 with the rank of lieu­tenant com­man­der. His dec­o­ra­tions in­cluded the Amer­i­can Cam­paign Medal, Asi­atic-Pa­cific Cam­paign Medal, World War II Vic­tory Medal and Amer­i­can Defense Medal.

From 1946 to 1959, he was man­ag­ing of­fi­cer of In­de­pen­dent Mu­tual Build­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and vice pres­i­dent and mort­gage of­fi­cer for In­de­pen­dent Life In­surance Co.

In 1959, Mr. Katzen­berg es­tab­lished Westview Fed­eral Sav­ings & Loan, which was char­tered with $1 mil­lion in as­sets in an of­fice on In­gle­side Av­enue.

He re­mained chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the bank un­til 1997, and was named chair­man emer­i­tus in 2001.

He be­came a li­censed real es­tate bro­ker, mort­gage banker and in­surance bro­ker.

In 1959, he pur­chased the en­tire block of 700 N. Calvert St., from Mon­u­ment to Madi­son streets, and su­per­vised con­struc­tion and man­age­ment of the 707 Build­ing for his for­mer col­lege room­mate, Charles R. Mas­sel of At­lanta. Mr. Katzen­berg pur­chased the build­ing in1972 from the Mas­sell fam­ily and sold it two decades later to the State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Dur­ing the 1960s, he pur­chased and man­aged real es­tate in­vest­ments such as of­fice build­ings, ware­houses and apart­ments. From1968 to 1992, he pur­chased and man­aged com­mer­cial properties, with of­fice build­ings in At­lanta, in­dus­trial build­ings in Chicago and ware­houses in St. Louis and Chat­tanooga, Tenn. He re­tired from busi­ness in 2004. Mr. Katzen­berg’s phil­an­thropic ef­forts cen­tered on the Bal­ti­more Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion, which he helped found in 1972 and for which he served as a trustee. He was the foun­da­tion’s vice chair­man in the 1990s and served on its in­vest­ment and de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tees.

“Herbert made a point early in BCF’s his­tory to learn as much about com­mu­nity foun­da­tions as pos­si­ble, vis­it­ing lead­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions and bring­ing his grow­ing knowl­edge back to Bal­ti­more,” Thomas E. Wil­cox, pres­i­dent of the foun­da­tion, wrote in a state­ment on Mr. Katzen­berg’s death.

“Herbert was com­mit­ted to the role that col­lec­tive phi­lan­thropy can play to heal wounds, sup­port those in need and bring peo­ple to­gether through a vi­brant cul­tural com­mu­nity,” he wrote. “He was and will con­tinue to be a role model for all of us.”

From 1960 to 2000, Mr. Katzen­berg was pres­i­dent of the Lewis Baer Foun­da­tion, and he was a past di­rec­tor of the Levin­dale He­brew Ge­ri­atric Cen­ter & Hospi­tal.

“He sought me out when I was start­ing the Gold­seker Foun­da­tion in 1975. He was men­tor to me,” Mr. Gold­seker said. “We worked to­gether to help grow the Bal­ti­more Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion, and we helped grow the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bal­ti­more Area Grant­mak­ers.”

Mr. Katzen­berg lived for years in a home on Seven Mile Lane in Dum­bar­ton, and for the past three years resided at Roland Park Place.

In 1990, Mr. Katzen­berg crewed aboard the Pride of Bal­ti­more II on a voy­age from La Guaira, Venezuela, to Puerto Rico, and an­other voy­age from Cara­cas, Venezuela, to Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Mr. Katzen­berg en­joyed play­ing ten­nis, ca­noe­ing, work­ing in his shop and trav­el­ing. When he turned 80, he cel­e­brated with a week­long ca­noe trip with a daugh­ter through the Al­la­gash wilder­ness in Maine.

He was a mem­ber of the Cen­ter Club, Sub­ur­ban Club and Cross Keys Ten­nis Club.

“He had such phys­i­cal vi­brancy. He played ten­nis un­til he was 95 and, for about 45 years, we played a mixed-dou­bles game ev­ery Satur­day,” said a daugh­ter, Su­san Ber­ney Katzen­berg of Roland Park.

“He was in­spi­ra­tional, mod­est, and there was no ar­ro­gance or ego. He was com­fort­able with be­ing who he was,” Ms. Katzen­brg said.

Mr. Katzen­berg’s wife of 70 years, the for­mer Glo­ria Balder, a needle­point artist, writer and co-founder with her hus­band of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bal­ti­more Area Grant­mak­ers, died last year.

Mr. Katzen­berg was a mem­ber of Bal­ti­more He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion. Ser­vices were pri­vate. In ad­di­tion to his daugh­ter, he is sur­vived by an­other daugh­ter, Diane Balder Katzen­berg of Lin­coln, Mass.; a brother, E. Wal­ter Katzen­berg of New York City; three grand­chil­dren; and a great-grand­daugh­ter. Herbert M. Katzen­berg was a founder of the Bal­ti­more Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion and the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bal­ti­more Area Grant­mak­ers.

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