De­vel­oper Ma­reen Water­man dies at 82

Record Observer - - Front Page - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

QUEEN­STOWN — Prom­i­nent lo­cal de­vel­oper and phi­lan­thropist Ma­reen D. Water­man died of cancer on Thurs­day, April 28. He was 82.

At the time of his death, he was head of Water­man Re­alty on Kent Is­land, a firm that he founded in 1967. He worked there with his son Barry Water­man, daugh­ter-in­law Diana Water­man and grand­son Kevin Water­man.

“He took great pride in cre­at­ing com­mu­ni­ties and homes for Queen Anne’s County res­i­dents,” and was the de­vel­oper of Over­look, Wye Knot, Queen Anne Woods, An­chor­age, Long Creek Farm and smaller com­mu­ni­ties, said Barry Water­man. “He hired lo­cal ex­ca­va­tors, en­gi­neers, plumbers, etc., and then sold lots to Queen Anne’s County builders to build homes on.”

At the time of his death, the Water­man Fam­ily Lim­ited Part­ner­ship was in the process of plan­ning the de­vel­op­ment of the Wheat­lands prop­erty in Queen­stown.

Ma­reen Water­man was born in Guam, where his fa­ther was serv­ing as a

Marine of­fi­cer. He stud­ied at Wash­ing­ton Col­lege and had a land­scap­ing and tree re­moval busi­ness be­fore be­ing drafted for a two-year pe­riod in the Army, his son said. He then be­came a book­keeper with Gre­nadier Re­alty in An­napo­lis, and later bought the busi­ness around 1959 or 1960.

Ac­cord­ing to Barry Water­man, he cre­ated sub­di­vi­sions and built about 500 homes in the An­napo­lis area be­fore mov­ing to Queen­stown in 1969. He opened a branch of­fice of Gre­nadier Re­alty on Kent Is­land and a few years later closed the An­napo­lis of­fice to con­cen­trate on Queen Anne’s County.

He was ac­tive in a num­ber of real es­tate or­ga­ni­za­tions over the years and served as pres­i­dent of the lo­cal Board of Real­tors and Home­builders, was chair­man of Busi­ness Queen Anne’s and the Queen Anne’s County Cham­ber of Com­merce, and served on com­mit­tees of the State As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors.

Barry Water­man said his fa­ther was ac­tive in a num­ber of lo­cal civic or­ga­ni­za­tions, and spent many years on the Queen Anne’s County Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee. In 1986, he was ap­pointed by Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan to the In­ter­state Com­mis­sion on the Po­tomac River.

“What a good man,” said Linda Fri­day, pres­i­dent of the Queen Anne’s County Cham­ber of Com­merce, who had known him for many years. “He was a hum­ble, quiet gen­tle­man who was ac­tive in the Cham­ber.” She said he was man of in­tegrity and knowl­edge.

“If you had a ques­tion about de­vel­op­ing, he had an an­swer,” Fri­day said, adding that Water­man was a “huge con­trib­u­tor to this com­mu­nity” and was very gen­er­ous. “This is a huge loss to Queen Anne’s County,” she said.

Less than a week be­fore he died, Water­man was pre­sented with the Bay Area As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors’ Life­time Achieve­ment Award for those with 40 or more years in the busi­ness. As­so­ci­a­tion Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Bob Fri­day said the pre­sen­ta­tion was made to Water­man at his home on Fri­day, April 22.

“He was a pretty unas­sum­ing guy and said ‘I’ve done what I’ve done, not think­ing about awards,’” Fri­day said, adding that Water­man said the award meant a great deal to him.

San­dra Early of San­dra’s Of­fice Sup­port re­mem­bers first meet­ing Water­man over 20 years ago when she worked for the Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“Mr. Water­man was a soft spo­ken man and was a man of few words,” she said in a Face­book post­ing. “When he spoke, I made sure to lis­ten as he was knowl­edge­able, and I knew if he was talk­ing, it was im­por­tant.”

Early said Water­man was a friend and “a won­der­ful man” that “I will miss dearly.”

“Bob has done so much for the cit­i­zens of this county. Peo­ple have no idea,” said Mike Zim­mer, pres­i­dent of Bay State In­surance Agency. Bob was the name by which many of his col­leagues knew him, Zim­mer said. He went on to say that Water­man was one of five men who had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on him and his ca­reer.

“He was a very kind per­son who would help any­one who asked him. He gave mil­lions away in time and money,” Zim­mer said.

Barry Water­man said his fa­ther at­tended many char­ity events in the county and made con­tri­bu­tions of time and money to “many causes beyond po­lit­i­cal and in­dus­try causes.” He noted that he was the head of the fundrais­ing com­mit­tee for the free stand­ing emer­gency fa­cil­ity now known as the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Emer­gency Cen­ter at Queen­stown.

“I al­ways knew he was a great per­son who al­ways did what was right re­gard­less of its im­pact on him per­son­ally,” Barry Water­man said.

Ma­reen Water­man died on his 60th wed­ding an­niver­sary and is sur­vived by his wife Mar­ian, son Barry, son Reen Water­man, daugh­ters Jeanne Lan­caster and Joanna Water­man, eight grand­chil­dren, and 12 great-grand­chil­dren.

Visi­ta­tions will be held on Fri­day, May 6, at the Fel­lows, Helfen­bein and New­nam Funeral Home in Cen­tre­ville from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

A funeral mass will be cel­e­brated on Satur­day, May 7, at 11 a.m. at St. Christo­pher’s Catholic Church in Ch­ester. In lieu of flow­ers, do­na­tions may be made to Com­pass Re­gional Hospice, 255 Comet Dr., Cen­tre­ville, MD 21617.

MA­REEN D. WATER­MAN

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