On Saturday, at the assisted living facility Brightview Towson, retired attorney and former secretary of the Baltimore County Board of Elections and president of the fan club Oriole Advocates Joseph N. Karey passed away from respiratory failure. He was 90.
He was born and raised in Baltimore on William Street; his father, Joseph Karcauskas, was a machinist for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, while his mother, Margaret Kraft Karcauskas, held several positions at a netting business in South Baltimore. Later in life, he decided to adopt the surname, Karey.
He was a wrestler and basketball player at Mount Saint Joseph High School and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from the institution that is now Loyola University Maryland. While vacationing in Ocean City, he met Mary Patricia Fuchs, the woman he would later marry.
He was a Naval man who saw service on the USS Moale. After graduating from what was then the University of Maryland School of Law in 1965, he went on to acquire a master’s degree in business from New York University.
Before opening his own practice, Mr. Karey worked as an attorney for Transit Casualty, an insurance firm connected to the historic Baltimore Transportation Co. He later went into private practise, where he remained an insurance law specialist until his retirement in 2016.
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After working with O’Doherty, Nead & Hoffman in downtown Baltimore, Mr. Karey opened his own office on Chesapeake Avenue in Towson under the name Nead, Karey & Minton. “My father was a calm listener,” remarked his daughter, Abigail Karey.
To paraphrase, “He focused solely on you. His manner was decidedly unostentatious. In every situation, he was able to assist those around him. [Jean Somervell Moore passes away, she was a working mother and a restorer of historic properties] “He was not one to get caught up in the little things. He was a man who looked at the big picture.”
Mr. Karey had a large social circle and regularly met for lunch on Fridays with his friends and colleagues from the insurance and legal industries. “My father was not a drinker and he just liked being around people,” his daughter said.
He is a Republican who was been appointed to the position of secretary on the Board of Elections for Baltimore County, which will last from 2011 to 2015. Before he served as a member of the elections board, he served as the board’s legal counsel.
In an article for the Sun in 1994, he discussed the stalemate between the campaigns of Ellen R. Sauerbrey (the Republican candidate) and Parris N. Glendening (the Democratic candidate and eventual winner) for governor of Maryland in Baltimore County.
According to The Sun’s reporting, Democrats in Baltimore County have requested that every absentee ballot envelope be checked against the voter rolls to ensure that the signature matches. More than two-thirds of the ballots were challenged by the Democrats since no signed affidavits were submitted for them.
It was reported that Mr. Karey said, “in many, many elections and I don’t think we should change it now, even though it might change the election.” in reference to the practice of tallying votes without affidavits. He was president of the Oriole Advocates from 1978 to 1979 and made multiple trips to Cooperstown, New York to witness the induction of former Baltimore Orioles players into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He was a big fan of the then-Baltimore Colts and held season tickets. “My father was a Baltimore boy. He loved the old Colts and I can remember sitting at Memorial Stadium on a snowy day with him,” said his daughter. Mr. Karey was a man who loved the slopes and the links. He remained devoted to his alma mater, Mount Saint Joseph, and regularly attended reunions of his class.
Ruck Funeral Homes, 1050 York Road, Towson, will host the funeral services on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Two daughters, Abigail Karey of Catonsville and Amy Weber of Bowleys Quarters; a son, J. Alexander Karey of Towson; and six grandchildren survive him. His wife of 65 years, the former Mary Patricia Fuchs, was a housewife.