Samuel A. Baroody, trucking firm owner and patriarch of his family, dies

Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun
·5 min read

Samuel Abraham Baroody, who owned a trucking business and was a leader in Kingsville in Baltimore County, died of heart failure Feb. 1 at Mercy Medical Center. He was 93.

Born in Geneva, New York, he was the grandson of Syrian immigrants. His father was Asa Baroody, a mail carrier, and his mother, Ziqua, was a homemaker and accomplished cook.

Mr. Baroody, who had a strong competitive spirit, played sports and sang in his church choir as a young man. He joined the Army and was stationed in Germany near the end of World War II.

“He found himself in combat because the Germans didn’t realize the war was over or did not want it to be over,” said a son, Neal C. Baroody. “My father told me it was dangerous.”

He used the GI Bill to earn a degree at Ithaca College, where he went on to be an assistant coach for lacrosse and football. He was the co-captain for Ithaca College’s first lacrosse team.

In 1951, when an uncle asked for help, he moved to Baltimore to assist in the management of Mutual Pool Car Agency Inc., a trucking company that served Baltimore and Washington.

He became president of the Mutual Transportation Inc., a regional carrier located in today’s Harbor East near Little Italy on President Street.

Ray Gordon, who owned Reliable Tire Sales, said: “He was very attentive to his business, and his employees cared for him. He was genial and outgoing and gave me the key to his truck yards in both Baltimore and Washington.”

Mr. Baroody made friends in the St. Leo Roman Catholic Church community. He attended Italian community festivals and often had a fried egg and lettuce sandwich at Iggy’s sandwich shop on Eastern Avenue.

“My father was outgoing and was the life of the party,” said a daughter, Maria Baroody of Upper Falls. “He was a competitive man and liked to win within the rules.”

He married Teresa Geary in 1954. They had 10 children and initially lived in Gardenville. He later purchased nearly 30 acres in Upper Falls and gave his children building lots.

Mr. Baroody continued to play lacrosse and tennis and was later inducted in the Maryland Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Geneva Hall of Fame.

Mr. Baroody became a well-known figure in the community and was named 2016 grand marshal of the Kingsville Parade.

He was active in the Kingsville PTA, St. Stephen’s Parish Council and the Kingsville Recreation Council. He and his wife helped establish Kingsville Park.

Mr. Baroody also worked to establish the Kingsville boys lacrosse program. He coached both boys and girls basketball and flag football for many years.

A tenor, Mr. Baroody sang in the choir for 53 years at St. Stephen’s Church. He annually sang “O Holy Night” at Christmas Midnight Mass.

“My father knew music, and he was particular about the way the choir followed musical dynamics,” said another son, Paul Aquinas Baroody of Baltimore. “He could come across like a Walter Matthau and appear grumpy. But he was non-pretentious and no-nonsense. He loved to tell jokes. In his politics he was a conservative. My mother was not, and that made for colorful family discussions.”

His son Neal said: “He was well-respected in the community. He had coached so many children, everybody knew him. He ran his own trucking company downtown while he was raising 10 kids and coaching kids in the neighborhood in football, basketball and lacrosse. He was 100 percent for his children or grandchildren. He never drove a fancy car.”

His son recalled his father was not afraid to take chances and make personal sacrifices.

“In buying the Kingsville land, he saw an opportunity to do something for us, his children. He found the money for 30 acres. He was determined and fearless and wanted to give us all a piece of it.,” Neal Baroody said.

He also bought a summer home at Fenwick Island for family vacations.

His daughter, Maria, said her parents divided labor so that Mr. Baroody did much of the cooking. He taught his children and grandchildren how to prepare Syrian dishes his mother had made for him.

He also baked his own Syrian bread. “He used a 5-pound bag of flour and by the time it came out of the oven, we, his kids, would have eaten most of it,” she said.

Mr. Baroody studied piano at Essex Community College. He played and sang, though his wife often played.

“We didn’t watch TV after dinner. We went to the piano,” said his daughter. “We would sing “O Holy Night” throughout the year, as well as “Danny Boy,” “The Impossible Dream,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Some Enchanted Evening.”

Mr. Baroody cultivated fruit trees, grapevines and a vegetable garden.

“In his senior years he tenaciously tended to his lawn and garden himself, painstakingly promoting the growth of a periwinkle carpet throughout the wooded area surrounding his yard,” Paul Baroody said. “For each of his great-grandchildren he planted and raised a Japanese maple, his wife’s favorite tree.”

Mr. Baroody believed in cooking large meals. “Just in case anyone dropped in, he was ready,” his son Paul said. “He was generous with food.”

Mr. Baroody smoked Garcia y Vega Presidente cigars.

“He smoked inside when it was too frigid to be outdoors,” said his daughter. “He sat inside on a small chair by the open fire so the smoke would go up the chimney.”

A Mass will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. Feb. 26 from St. Stephen’s Church in Bradshaw.

In addition to his daughter and two sons, survivors include three other sons, Samuel J. Baroody and Joseph Baroody, both of Upper Falls, and William Baroody of Temecula, California; four other daughters, Brigid Baroody of Cedarcroft, Teresa Fiskum and Patricia von Paris, both of Upper Falls, and Bernadette Baroody of Baltimore; two sisters, Jennie Anne Petrizzi and Ruth Marie Gallagher of Geneva, New York; 19 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. His wife of 66 years died in 2020.