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Remembering Kenneth Masters, Former Catonsville Delegate, Ehrlich Aide

Catonsville attorney was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam and served 16 years in the House of Delegates.

 

Kenneth Masters, 68, a former state delegate from the Arbutus and Catonsville areas, aide to former Gov. Robert Ehrlich and a Bronze Star recipient died Tuesday after a battle with cancer.

Masters death was confirmed by Greg Massoni, press secretary to Ehrlich, on Wednesday.

Masters is survived by his wife, Patricia Pound Masters, as well as two daughters, Maura and Kathleen Masters, and one grandson. He is also survived by his younger brother, Gil.

Ehrlich served with Masters for eight years on the House Judiciary Committee.

"He wasn't very good at politics because he didn't suffer fools," said Ehrlich. "If you had a dumb bill, he'd tell you it was a dumb bill. He'd tell the press it was a dumb bill and he'd tell constituents it was a dumb bill. He was a legislator's legislator and that's a great compliment."

Ehrlich said Masters would frequently tell young lawmakers assigned to the Judiciary Committee that they might become very unpopular because it was their job to kill bills "that sounded really good when you read them really fast."

The former governor recalled a time when Masters helped kill a popular bill that tied the ability of a teenager to obtain a driver's license to high school graduation.

"Everyone wants everyone to graduate and what better carrot than a driver's license," said Ehrlich. "Kenny took it down with one sentence. He asked what would next year's bill look like. What was next year's bill going to be tied to?"

Masters was born in Washington, DC in 1943. He attended Charlotte Hall School and later received his bachelor's degree from what was then known as Towson State College in 1965.

He served in the Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Aircraft Crewman's Badge, Vietnam Service Ribbon, Air Medal, Bronze Star with V Device and Oak Leaf Cluster during his tour of duty, according to his official state biography.

"He didn't talk about it very much," Ehrlich said. "He was a true soldier."

Upon returning from Vietnam, Masters entered the University of Maryland School of Law. He graduated with his law degree in 1972 and went on to become a partner in the Catonsville law firm of McFarland & Masters—where he practiced law for nearly 30 years.

Masters, a Democrat, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1979 and served four terms and was House Majority leader.

Masters returned to state government in 2003 as legislative director to Ehrlich, the first Republican governor in Maryland in nearly 40 years.

A public celebration of his life will be held at Matthew's 1600, 1600 Frederick Road, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20.

A Funeral Mass will be offered at St. Mark Chapel in Catonsville at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to United Hands for Health or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Al Redmer, Jr January 18, 2012 at 08:45 PM
very sad.... Kenny was a very good guy!!
robert l flanagan January 19, 2012 at 01:58 AM
It was a great honor for me to have served on the Judiciary Committee with Kenny and then again to have worked with him in Governor Ehrlich's administration. We will miss him.
Donald Lehr January 19, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Known Kenny for years but fell out of touch with him,he was a very straight forward and trusting person
James Kinsler April 13, 2013 at 01:31 PM
James Kinsler, Troy, MI 248 362-1149 April 13, 2013 I first knew Kenny when we lived at the Falkland Apartments in Silver Spring, Md... he was six when I met him. We rented a cabin at Scientist Cliffs in Calvert County in the summers 1948-1951. His folks lived there... their house was right near the edge of the 100 foot cliff full of fossils above the bay. He was my very special buddy.

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