A public memorial service for Walter Sondheim Jr. will be held at 2 p.m. on March 17 at the Kraushaar Auditorium on the campus of Goucher College.
Sondheim died of pneumonia on February 15 at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore after a lifetime of achievement, service to his city and state, and two decades of personal mentorship to business leaders as the Greater Baltimore Committee’s senior advisor.
Sondheim, 98, had served as the GBC’s senior advisor since 1987. A department store executive for 41 years at Hochschild Kohn & Company, Sondheim was known for his more than 50 years of civic leadership through his involvement with the GBC and in a myriad of civic posts ranging from president of the Baltimore City school board to chairman of the management agency that revitalized Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
A tireless education reformer, Sondheim served as the president of the Maryland school board at the age of 90. He was widely respected for his insight and integrity and was a trusted advisor to more than a half-century of Baltimore mayors and Maryland governors.
“Walter was a driving force in Baltimore’s downtown development and deeply involved in the work of the GBC during the last 50 years,” said GBC President and CEO Donald C. Fry. “It’s difficult to find the words to express what Walter meant to me, the GBC board and staff, the City of Baltimore, and the State of Maryland. He was a remarkable man whose passion, wisdom and wit impacted all of our lives. He will be greatly missed.”
The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Janet and Walter Sondheim Fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation, 2 East Read Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, (410-332-4171) or online.