Clasing, Jr., Alfred E,
Essex - On Dec. 16, Alfred E. Clasing, Jr., 90, longtime resident of Essex, WWII veteran and community activist.
One of 13 children, Al was born and educated in Baltimore City. His dad was a welder at Bethlehem Steel and his mom was a homemaker. In 1943, at age 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy. During WWII, he served aboard a landing craft in the South Pacific, making invasions on Saipan, Tinian, Peleliu, the Marshall Islands and Angaur. In recognition of his valor, he received three bronze battle stars, a Naval Unit Citation and a letter of heroic service from President Truman.
Following honorable discharge after VJ day, Al went to work at Bethlehem Steel Corporation. He married Marie Wiegand, moved to Essex and together they raised six children. He worked at Sparrows Point for 35 years, retiring as a member of exempt management.
In addition to his loyalty to country, family and employer, Al was devoted to his community, veteran’s organizations and the environment. He was the founder and/or president of the Hart and Millers Island Environmental Group, the Back River Peninsula Community Association, Lamky-Luther-Whitehead Veterans Memorial and the Back River Neck Safety Association, as well as Vice President of the Baltimore County Police-Community Relations Council and holder of leadership positions in the VFW, American Legion, and numerous civic organizations. Mr. Clasing coordinated fund raising for Franklin Square Hospital and the United Appeal.
Al’s commitment to education included leadership roles in local PTAs as well as the Baltimore County PTA Counsel and the Maryland State Congress of PTAs. He served as a Baltimore County Delegate to the State Board of Education. Mr. Clasing was an instructor in the Labor Studies Program at CCBC-Dundalk and served on the college’s Curriculum Development Board. He was on the Advisory Board of the Maryland Labor Education Association.
Mr. Clasing had a lifetime commitment to the Boy Scouts of America. He was the proud recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, the highest honor bestowed by Scouting upon an adult volunteer. This award recognized his long service as Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Neighborhood Commissioner, Asst. District Commissioner, Round Table Commissioner, Sustaining Membership Commissioner and Camporee Chairman.
Mr. Clasing worshipped at the Back River United Methodist Church, serving as Chairman of Evangelism and the Administrative Board. He served on the Transportation, Long Range Planning and Pastor-Parrish Relations committees.
His energy, commitment to community, and enthusiasm continued until the last six months of his life. Al was well into his 80s when he learned of the VA’s plan to cede the former Fort Howard Hospital property to a private developer. Outraged to discover that this project was not for the exclusive benefit of vets, he helped organize and lead a citizen’s “Save Fort Howard” campaign. He was active in that cause on a daily basis until his most recent illness.
Al is survived by his wife of 67 years, Marie J. Clasing (nee Wiegand); his daughter, Kimberly Hock; five sons; 17 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.