Bob Pascal, former Anne Arundel Co. executive and philanthropist, dies at 86

Former Anne Arundel County Executive Robert “Bob” A. Pascal has died at age 86.

Pascal, who led Anne Arundel from 1974 to 1982, died Friday.

His career as a public servant was a long one, and he was well-known for his generosity.

Before becoming county executive, Pascal served in the Maryland Senate from 1971 to 1974.

He later went on to run as the Republican nominee for governor, but lost to Harry Hughes, a Democrat, in 1982.

Pascal served as secretary of appointments to Gov. William Donald Schaefer from 1989 to 1995. He was also on a number of key state task forces and commissions, including a task force on the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School, a horse racing commission and a wildlife advisory commission.

Pascal became known for philanthropy after his political career, donating millions.

Pascal started a nonprofit to provide mental heath care in Anne Arundel County. In addition to the  Robert A. Pascal Youth & Family Services, he contributed to the Pascal Crisis Stabilization Center in Crownsville, another facility that treats people with mental illnesses and substance abuse.

Current Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman expressed his condolences in a tweet, saying, “I will work to support the programs he cared most about, starting with Pascal Crisis Stabilization Center, which serves many of our most vulnerable residents in a county-owned building at Crownsville. I have a bill before the County Council in three weeks to stabilize that organization’s future, with a long term lease.”

Several county facilities are named for him, including a senior center and a performing arts center at Anne Arundel Community College.

Pascal donated $2 million to expand the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie and $1 million to the University of Maryland Medical Center after a knee replacement.

He also donated $6 million to Duke University, where he played football and would be named an All-American running back before going on to be drafted in the third round by the Baltimore Colts in 1956. He ended up playing a season for the Canadian Football League.

The Pascal Field House at Duke would be named for the New Jersey native in 2011.

“Pascal is one of just two players in Duke history with multiple seasons of 500-plus rushing yards and eight-plus rushing touchdowns, joined only by Jay Calabrese. In Duke’s victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, Pascal rushed for a game-high 91 yards on just nine attempts and scored the first touchdown of the contest. He scored a career-best three touchdowns in Duke’s 47-12 win over North Carolina on November 27, 1954, and gained a career-high 157 ground yards on 20 carries in a 14-0 triumph over Wake Forest on November 19, 1955,” according to an obituary posted by Duke University.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted that he was saddened by Pascal’s death.

Pascal’s business career included owning United Propane, a gas and oil products company that would become one of the nation’s top companies, and serving as the president of the Maryland L.P. Gas Association, according to the Maryland Manual, a state archives site.

Pascal’s Pascal Family Group also owns the well-known St. Michaels Harbour Inn, Marina and Spa, as well as Pascal’s Chophouse in Severna Park.

He is survived by his wife Susan and four daughters.

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Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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