April 20, 2024

businessweek

Taste For Business

Albert N. ‘Neale’ Smith Jr., former owner of sugar brokerage A.N. Smith & Co., one of Baltimore’s oldest family-owned businesses, dies

Albert N. “Neale” Smith Jr., previous proprietor of A.N. Smith & Co., a sugar brokerage that is a single of the oldest spouse and children-owned corporations in Baltimore, and earlier an educator and coach, died of ischemic colitis March 22 at the College of Maryland St. Joseph Professional medical Center. The Charlesbrooke resident was 82.

“Neale was a fantastic salesman for the reason that he was truthful, sincere and saved his phrase, and as a purchaser, that was his individuality,” stated Hank Spangler, who at his retirement in 2004 was director of procurement for McCormick & Co. “He was not a strain person, and arrived up with new tips and how we could do matters better. I cherished the gentleman to dying.”

Joe Herb, who was a shopper of Mr. Smith’s, labored as national revenue supervisor for Domino Sugar.

“I was in the sugar business enterprise for 40 many years and Neale was just an incredible broker and he’d offer for us,” recalled Mr. Herb, who retired in 2019. “He was definitely the epitome of anything you’d want in a salesman. He had a superb persona, was higher than reproach, and a gentleman about every little thing.”

Albert Neale Smith Jr., son of Albert N. Smith Sr., previous operator and chairman of the board of A.N. Smith & Co., and his spouse, Margaret Vogel Perin, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and was raised in Ruxton and Riderwood.

Following graduating in 1958 from St. Paul School for Boys, he 1st attended Colgate College on a full athletic scholarship. Immediately after enduring an upstate New York winter his freshman yr, he transferred to the Johns Hopkins University, where he played varsity lacrosse and football, and was a member of both equally sport’s national championship teams.

“We were born eight times aside in the same hospital and have been pals ever considering the fact that,” Charles “Butch” Darrell explained. “We grew up alongside one another in Ruxton and went to St. Paul’s alongside one another, and what manufactured Neale this sort of a great athlete was his enthusiasm.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Hopkins, he decided to forgo a likely qualified athletics career and enlisted in the Navy alternatively. He was commissioned an ensign in 1963, and served aboard the USS Constellation as a nuclear weapons officer.

To retain his fellow sailors busy, he took demand of all shipboard enjoyment and organized live shows, like one particular that provided the famed jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong, and arranged athletic occasions.

Immediately after serving in Vietnam, he was discharged from the Navy in 1966, and remained an active reservist for 22 several years, retiring with the rank of commander.

Mr. Smith returned to Baltimore at the conclusion of his naval services and taught history and coached soccer and lacrosse for a yr ahead of becoming named head football mentor at Calvert Corridor Higher education Higher University even though also teaching at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

He met his upcoming wife, the former Joan Fleischhauer, a Garrison Forest College teacher, on a blind date in 1967 that was organized by his mother and the wife of the headmaster of Garrison Forest University. They wed in 1970.

In 1968, Mr. Smith abandoned his coaching job and moved to Boston where he took a place as a expert recruiter for Raytheon Systems. That identical calendar year, he was identified as back to lively naval responsibility at Newport, Rhode Island, where he taught as a member of the college of the Officer Prospect University, and once again in 1969.

In 1971, he and his wife returned to Baltimore exactly where he joined his father in the relatives-owned A.N. Smith & Co., sugar brokers, which experienced been founded in 1886 by his grandfather Aloysius Smith.

Mr. Smith bought the business enterprise a number of many years in advance of his father died in 1980. With organization spouse George Brecht, he started a 2nd business, MJ Distribution Co., a foodstuff component enterprise in 1996, which was named for their wives, Marion and Joan.

The two Hampden-based mostly enterprises are now owned and operated by Mr. Smith’s son, Albert Neale “Chip” Smith III, who lives in the city’s Poplar Hill neighborhood.

“He taught me the importance of associations and having to know our buyers as men and women and receiving to know their desires and the needs of their small business,” his son claimed.

“His son inherited the business enterprise, so it will carry on,” Mr. Herb mentioned. “Chip is just like his father and he realized from the very best.”

“Neale was a genuinely superior salesman and the consummate gentleman. He was extra intrigued in the particular person he was conversing to than himself,” explained Bud Chapman, who retired in 2012 from Archer-Daniels-Midland. “We ended up rivals but Neale was one of the nicest men I’ve ever satisfied. He later became our foodstuff broker in Baltimore and represented Domino Sugar.”

Stated Mr. Spangler: “I would describe our romance in threes. We were in the Navy collectively, we did company alongside one another, and were pricey buddies. When Neale retired and I spoke at his retirement, I mentioned he would have built the ideal Boy Scout and was the embodiment of the Scout code. ’On my honor, I will do my very best to do my duty to God and my region and to obey Scout law to aid persons at all periods to retain myself physically powerful, mentally awake and morally straight.’”

Mr. Smith experienced been president for virtually two a long time of the Nationwide Sugar Brokers Association, as his father experienced been from 1974 to 1976.

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In addition to getting an inveterate supporter of Johns Hopkins football and lacrosse and devoted to St. Paul’s Faculty, Mr. Smith was an avid collector of vintage model trains, especially Lionel Common Gauge trains, which dated to the 1920s and 1930s. He also experienced two operating layouts in the basement of his home.

And simply because of his fascination with trains, his grandchildren gave him the nickname of “Chooch,” loved ones users explained.

He was also a jazz lover.

“He and I equally cherished jazz from New Orleans to the Swing Era,” Mr. Darrell recalled. “I try to remember the time we drove by way of a snowstorm in Virginia to attend a Louis Armstrong concert. We had been speaking about it one working day and I explained I preferred ‘A Nearer Stroll With Thee’ performed at my funeral, and Neale explained he desired the ‘One O’Clock Jump’ played at his, and I consider Joan is likely to do it.”

A previous resident of Caves Highway in Owings Mills, Mr. Smith was a previous president of the Rotary Club of Baltimore and a member of the Maryland Club, L’Hirondelle Club and the Wednesday Club. He was a founding member of Church of the Resurrection, an Anglican church, on Greenspring Avenue.

A celebration-of-everyday living support will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the St. Paul’s Colleges at 11152 Falls Road in Brooklandville.

In addition to his wife of 51 a long time, a Roland Park State School educator, and his son, Mr. Smith is survived by his daughter, Heather H. Smith of New York City a stepbrother, Thomas Caskey of Towson 3 sisters, Stephany Harper of Pinehurst, Hope Pollard of Homeland and Henrietta Lausten of North Plains, Oregon and four granddaughters.