Donald W. ‘Don’ Kalkman Jr., Baltimore County budget analyst and railroad preservationist, dies

Donald W. “Don” Kalkman Jr., a former Baltimore County budget analyst and avid rail fan, died of cancer March 28 at Stella Maris, a hospice facility in Timonium, Baltimore County. The longtime Towson resident was 83.

“Don was a great guy and we’ve been very close all of our lives,” said his brother, William “Bill” Kalkman, who lives in Timonium. “He was a very meticulous and detail-oriented person.”

Donald Wilmer Kalkman Jr., son of William W. Kalkman Sr., who worked for Martin Marietta Corp.’s Gemini Space Program, and Marie Bittrick Kalkman, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Govans, where he attended parochial school at St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church.

In 1956, the family moved to Timonium.

An Eagle Scout, after graduating from Loyola Blakefield in Towson, he entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
While there, he fell ill and behind in his studies which resulted in his leaving New London, according to a family biographical profile.

He entered what is now Loyola University Maryland and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1962 in economics.

While at Loyola, he was active in ROTC, and after graduating, was commissioned a lieutenant and served in the Army until deciding he no longer wanted to pursue a military career, and resigned his commission.

In 1976, Mr. Kalkman began his career at the old paper cup manufacturer Maryland Cup and Sweetheart Cup in Owings Mills, where he worked in quality control and later was budget director.

After the company was sold, Mr. Kalkman went to the Baltimore County Office of the Budget, where he worked for five years under Fred Hohman, chief administrative officer for Baltimore County, and county executive C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger.

He retired in 2001.

Mr. Kalkman’s interest in railroading and model trains began in his childhood.

His paternal grandfather, “Reds” Kalkman, was a Pennsylvania Railroad engineer, who worked out of the Orangeville roundhouse in East Baltimore, handling both freight and later passenger trains.

“When we were kids in the 1950s, our father always had a large Lionel Christmas garden, because he knew we liked trains,” his brother said.
“On Sundays, he’d take us under the Howard Street Bridge where we watched trains come out of the tunnel into Penn Station, while the B & O trains passed overhead.

“Our dad would also take us to Orangeville where our grandfather would put us up in the cabs of GG-1s, E-8 diesels and switch engines and ride us around the yard.”

They would also watch their grandfather go by on his train.

“He worked on the Northern Central from Baltimore to Harrisburg, and up the Port Road, along the Susquehanna, from Perryville to Enola Yard in Harrisburg,” his brother said.

Not only had Mr. Kalkman become a successful builder of an N-Gauge model railroad layout, he was also an accomplished railroad photographer and active in the preservationist movement.

A fan of the iconic Art Moderne GG-1 electric locomotives designed by famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy for the Pennsylvania Railroad that came to define high-speed passenger railroading between Washington and New York, he got involved in the restoration of the 4935 train during the 1970s.

The GG-1 was restored to its original Brunswick green paint scheme with gold cat whisker stripes and the Tuscan red PRR keystone emblem.

“He had a great deal to do with the restoration committee, and we met Mr. Loewy in Washington’s Union Station in 1977 before the 4935 departed with a special train for New York,” his brother said.
The train paused briefly in Baltimore at Penn Station where Mr. Loewy, standing on the rear platform of a private observation car, acknowledged the crowd.

Mr. Kalkman also photographed the special trains that were organized by Bennett Levin, CEO of the Juniata Terminal Co., and operated on the Northeast Corridor taking hospitalized recovering veterans to the annual Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia.

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“He traveled all over the country to view and photograph trains, but the Pennsylvania was his favorite railroad,” said his daughter, Donna Kalkman Clune, of Richmond, Virginia.

“Once Don retired, he had lots of time to work on his model railroad and photography,” his brother said.

Mr. Kalkman was a parishioner and volunteer at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church.

He was also a member of the Emerald Isle Club, which supports families of police officers and firefighters.

In 1964, he married his first grade classmate from St. Mary’s Govans, Jinx Lauermann.

An administrative assistant at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson, where the couple were communicants, she died in 1992.

The next year he married Norah McCarthy Connolly, who survives him.

Mr. Kalkman maintained an interest in military history and “learning,” his daughter said.

A memorial Mass was offered Saturday at his church.

In addition to his wife of 31 years, daughter and brother, Mr. Kalkman is survived by a son, Donald W. Kalkman III, of Towson; a stepson, Patrick Connolly, of Perry Hall; five grandchildren; and a great-grandson.