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Clear Spring's Bill Albowicz dies

October 28, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Clear Spring Councilman Bill Albowicz, who was inducted into the Maryland Municipal League Hall of Fame in August in honor of his 26 years of service to the town, died Saturday.

He was praised and remembered fondly Saturday by friends and colleagues.

His wife, Vice Mayor Julie Albowicz, said the death was apparently caused by a heart attack.

"He was perfect. I was with him for 38 years," she said. "He was a loving husband, a loving father and he loved his community."

Earlier this month, Albowicz withdrew his candidacy for council and refiled for vice mayor. He was running unopposed for that position in the Nov. 4 election. His wife is running for a council seat.

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"He always got things done," Mayor Paul D. Hose Jr. said. "If he needed to do something, he just went ahead and did it. He was a good guy."

Hose served with Albowicz for about 20 years.

During an August Clear Spring Town Council meeting, Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., D-Allegany, presented Albowicz with a House of Delegates proclamation thanking him for his service to the town. He was also presented a proclamation from the town.

"Bill has a lot of interest in Clear Spring," Councilman Mason Mundey said Saturday. "Sometimes I think he put his interest in Clear Spring ahead of everything else. I think he is going to be someone who is going to be missed. He got out and he did a lot of work for the town."

Taylor said Saturday he greatly admired the Albowiczes.

"I loved he and his wife so much," he said.

Taylor said he liked "the way he treated people. The way he cared about people. He never tried to enrich himself. He is a terrific guy."

The Albowiczes were coordinating Taylor's election campaign in the Clear Spring area, Taylor said.

They introduced Taylor to the Clear Spring community when he ran for state office for the first time in 1974, he said.

"It was through his leadership that I carried this office," Taylor said.

With Albowicz's continued help, Taylor has won in the Clear Spring area in every election since then, he said.

The Albowiczes moved to Clear Spring in October 1972 after he read about a liquor store for sale in Clear Spring, Julie Albowicz said. They bought the liquor store, which they still own.

Albowicz has said he joined the council in the early 1970s in part because there was a shortage of town residents willing to participate in town government.

Albowicz saw his role as councilman as an opportunity to make life a little better for his fellow citizens, he said.

"He always felt as though his knowledge could do something to help the community," Julie Albowicz said. He wanted to help senior citizens living on a fixed income while also planning for younger residents to make sure they could have a good future."

Albowicz, who served two terms as mayor, has said he was never reluctant to voice his opinions in town meetings. He worked with council members to straighten out the streets department, fix the town's finances and systematically upgrade its water system.

"It has always impressed me how Bill Albowicz moved into Clear Spring and, with no family ties to our community, he immediately became involved in our town government and other local affairs," David Wiles, president of the Clear Spring District Historical Association, said Saturday.

"Death has claimed a good neighbor and friend from our small town. On behalf of the (association), I express my sincere sorrow to the Albowicz family," he said.

Albowicz supported the association's successful effort to obtain and preserve Plumb Grove, a brick home built in 1831 by Jonathan Nesbitt II and his wife.

Albowicz's hobbies included coin collecting, fishing and swimming, Julie Albowicz said.

He was involved in Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Washington County and attending the organization's summer camp for about 20 years, said Del. Robert A. McKee, the organization's executive director.

Albowicz was known to members of the organization as "the candy man," because he would bring boxes and bags of candy, often including taffy and candy bars, to give to the children at the camp, she said.

"Bill was a wonderful person and very involved in his community," McKee said.

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