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Conway proposes naming U.S. 113 in Bozman’s honor

4/3/14 | By Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

MARYLAND—If Delegate Norman Conway has his way, US Route 113 will serve as a memorial to the late Delegate Bennett Bozman (D-38B), who served as a Worcester County commissioner for 12 years and as a delegate in the Maryland General Assembly for 16.

In a March 18 letter to the Maryland Transportation Commission, Conway suggested that naming the highway, which connects Pocomoke City with Milford, Del., after Bozman would be a fitting tribute for the former pharmacist and Berlin Fire Company firefighter, who was originally from Princess Anne.

The Maryland Transportation Commission, which advises the Secretary of Transportation and Department administrators on policy and programs, is planning to meet on April 2 to discuss and vote on the request, Chuck Brown, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Transportation said in an email.

“If the majority of Commission members vote to approve the dedication, then the recommendation is sent to the Transportation Secretary for final approval,” he advised.

According to his official state biography, Bozman was born in Norfolk, Va., attended high school in Princess Anne, earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 1961.

His military career included service in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1961-69. He entered politics as a member of the Democratic State Central Committee for Worcester County, from 1974-78, and he served as president of the Maryland Association of Counties in 1990. Bozman died in route to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on April 27, 2006, after suffering complications from  cardiac arrest.

“We worked together during his tenure as a commissioner and as a delegate,” Conway said. In the letter, Conway recommended that US 113 between Berlin and Snow Hill—also known as Worcester Highway—be named for Bozman.

“He was widely respected in the District and in the Maryland General Assembly and he worked hard to make things better for people in general,” according to Conway. “One of the projects he fought to bring to completion is the dualization of U.S. 113 for safety reasons,” he said in an email.

Bozman’s widow Elizabeth, said the news of the proposal came as a surprise when Conway told her of the request. “He would really be proud and honored” by the proposal, she said. She added the late delegate would have been even more happy with the completion of the dualization of the highway, a goal he had apparently fought long to help achieve.

But Mrs.  Bozman, who still resides in Berlin, probably navigated the highway the most of the two. “I was the official driver,” she said, adding a common joke the couple shared was “He took care of the politics and I took care of the politician.”

Last September, Bozman was honored by the Germantown School Community Heritage Center for being instrumental in helping to start the process of restoring a 1920’s era Rosenwald School built in 1922 and located in the historically black Germantown Road neighborhood of Berlin. The Germantown school is historically significant because it is one of a few of the unique structures still standing that were built to facilitate the education of African American children and financed by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald.

During their March24 meeting, the Berlin Town Council unanimously voted to approve a proposal by Mayor Gee Williams to the MTC a letter supporting Conway’s request.

“Bennett was not only an outstanding representative for our town as an effective and dedicated member of the Maryland House of Delegates, but also was a longtime Berlin Main Street pharmacist who selfishly served Berlin as a community leader and active member of the Berlin Fire Company,” the letter said.

“The Mayor and Council of Berlin, on behalf of the citizens we serve, believe naming the highway in honor of Delegate Bozman would be a most fitting tribute to his service to our state, county and community.”

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