Donald W. Carroll Jr.
Navy veteran operated a ship agency business and was named the port of Baltimore’s 2003 Leader of the Year
Donald Ward Carroll Jr., who owned a ship agency business and was the port of Baltimore’s 2003 Leader of the Year, died of cancer Oct. 21 at his Mays Chapel home. He was 76.
Born in Baltimore, he was raised on his family’s Waterfoot Farm off Falls Road in northern Baltimore County. He was the son of Donald Ward Carroll Sr., who operated his family’s maritime business, and his wife, Helen Herd.
He was a 1958 Gilman School graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.
Mr. Carroll joined the Navy in 1962 and was a graduate of Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. He served aboard the USS Alacrity and was based in Charleston, S.C. He was part of the U.S. military presence off Cuba at the time of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. He also served a tour in the Mediterranean.
Mr. Carroll met his future wife, Anne Worthington Gilliam, while he was stationed in Charleston.
After his military service, Mr. Carroll returned to Baltimore and joined his father at Robert C. Herd and Co. on Redwood Street. The business had been founded by his maternal grandfather, Robert C. Herd, a native of Scotland who began work at age 12 in a Glasgow ship broker’s office and later sailed on squareriggers.
Mr. Carroll ran the family’s stevedore and ship agency business. He handled trade matters locally for the Maersk, French and Holland America lines until 1986, when he opened the Baltimore office of T. Parker Host Inc. of Norfolk, Va.
He became the local agent for the Columbus Line’s container service to Australia and New Zealand, among other carriers.
“Don was smart, honest and a fine businessman,” said Michael P. Cataneo, former president of Cataneo Inc. and a Baltimore resident. “He was a first-class guy. He was a customer of mine, and I considered him a friend.”
He subsequently opened the firm’s Wilmington, Del., office. He retired in 2010, and by then T. Parker Host had established itself as a large agency in the port of Baltimore.
“Don came from a long shipping background,” said David Host, chairman of T. Parker Host Inc., of Norfolk. “He was well-liked and had some great connections worldwide.”
In 2000, Mr. Carroll was appointed honorary consul for Finland in Maryland and Delaware. At the time of his retirement, he was named a Knight First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland.
In 2003, he was named the port of Baltimore’s Leader of the Year. He also served on the boards of the Baltimore Maritime Exchange and the Baltimore Propeller Club.
“Don Carroll was an important component of the port of Baltimore’s success,” said Jim White, director of the Maryland Port Administration. “I often counted on him to have an independent and well-thought-out opinion. He had an incredible sense as to the direction of international maritime affairs.”
Gov. Harry Hughes named Mr. Carroll to the State Board of Pilots, where he served several terms. In 2009, the Association of Maryland Pilots awarded him the honorary title Captain of the Chesapeake. “Don was an important member of the State Board of Pilots,” said Brian Hope, a retired Chesapeake Bay pilot. “He was an astute businessman and a mover and shaker at the port. He served on our apprentice selection committee. His ideas were useful and he helped select a number of excellent candidates over the years who are now serving as pilots.”
He was a board member of the Baltimore International Seafarers’ Center in Locust Point, where a memorial fund has been created in his honor. Mr. Carroll was active in the St. George’s and St. Andrew’s societies. He also traveled to China, England, France, Ireland and Scandinavia.
“His family was always important to him,” said a son, Edward Worthington “Ned” Carroll of Charlotte, N.C. “He enjoyed visiting and seeing his grandchildren grow, learn, perform and compete. He always had the time to coach Little League or lead a church youth group.
“Throughout his life, he showed care and compassion for others,” his son said.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 4400 Roland Ave., where he was an active member and vestry member. He was also a summer member of St. Martha’s Church in Bethany Beach, Del.
In addition to his son, survivors include another son, Alexander Campbell “Sandy” Carroll of Norwood, Mass.; and five grandchildren. His wife of nearly 50 years died in 2014. Donald W. Carroll Jr. served in the Navy during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.