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William R. ‘Bill’ Bone, Marine Corps veteran who combined careers in marketing and academia, dies

William R. ‘Bill’ Bone (Legacy/Released)

William R. “Bill” Bone, a Marine Corps veteran who combined careers in marketing and education, died Nov. 1 of dementia at Gilchrist Center in Towson. The North Roland Park resident was 91.

“Bill was an extraordinarily caring person who used to take my brother-in-law, who had Alzheimer’s, out for walks,” said Charles “Charlie” Obrecht, a friend. “He was a down-to-earth human being and I admired him enormously.”

William Robert Bone, son of Robert Bone, a truck driver, and Violet Snyder Bone, a waitress, was born and raised in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

“Bill’s family had no money and during the Depression they grew their own vegetables so they could have something to eat,” said his wife of 61 years, Lee Rouse, an associate professor and medical researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“But, he loved growing up in Selinsgrove, where he was an Eagle Scout, and the Susquehanna River played a big role in his life,” Mrs. Bone said.

After graduating from Selinsgrove Area High School in 1950, he earned a degree in public and international affairs from what is today the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs in Princeton, New Jersey.

After graduating cum laude in 1954, he entered the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He attained the rank of captain and served with a helicopter squadron in Southern Europe and the Middle East.

Discharged in 1957, he enrolled at Harvard Business School on the GI Bill, and after earning his master’s degree in 1961, went to work in New York City for the old Benton & Bowles, an advertising agency, where he was vice president of account services for a decade.

While living in New York, he met and fell in love with Lee Rouse, a Columbia University nursing student, whom he married in 1962.

While at Benton & Bowles, the couple lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in 1970, moved to Columbia, when he joined the old Rouse Co., which developed shopping malls, as director of marketing services, a position he held for three years, before becoming vice president of account services for advertising agency Henry J. Kaufman Associates in Washington.

Mr. Bone then established Bone & Associates Marketing and in 1978, he became an account supervisor for the old advertising agency Richardson, Myers & Donofrio Inc. in Baltimore.

He went to work in 1987 as the Baltimore County development partner of Rouse and Associates in Landover.

But education was never far from Mr. Bone’s thoughts. During the 1980s, he was an associate professor in the executive graduate program in management at what is now Loyola University Maryland.

Mr. Bone made a career change in 1993 when he joined the faculty of what is now Stevenson University as chair of the university’s business and accounting division, a position he held for more than two decades until retiring in 2011.

“I hired him,” said Patricia M. “Pat” Ellis, who retired from Stevenson, where she had been special assistant to the dean. “We thought it would be an advantage to have him on our faculty and he was.”

She said Mr. Bone brought a fresh teaching method to his classroom.

“He brought real-life situations into his classroom and it just wasn’t about book learning. He brought anecdotes,” Ms. Ellis said. “My husband, Eugene Ellis, worked for a mill in Hampden in cost accounting and was in the union. Most of the students didn’t know about unions, so Bill brought in Gene, who represented the union side while he represented management. It was another perspective than just reading a book.”

Mr. Bone set high standards for his students, she said.

“He pushed his students to do their best, but he was nice about it,” Ms. Ellis said. “He was popular with both the students and the faculty, and was such an honorable person.”

Through the years, he served on the boards of Family and Children’s Services, Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, Roland Park Place and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Mr. Bone, who lived in North Roland Park, was a member of the Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church Park Avenue, the Maryland Club, the Elkridge Club and the Bachelors Cotillon.

He enjoyed golf, tennis and traveling.

Mr. Bone was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer at 6202 N. Charles St., where a celebration-of-life-gathering will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 25.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Bone is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth B. Martin, of Homeland, and Katherine Bolinger, of Chadds Ford Township, Pennsylvania; and six grandchildren. His son, Robert R. Bone, died in 2020.


© 2023 Baltimore Sun

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