Dr. Arnold “Skip” Amass, 86, of Westminster, died on August 3, 2019 at Carroll Hospital Center. Born on September 18, 1932 in eastern Baltimore City, he was the son of Marie (Shackelford) Amass and Jacob Amass. Skip was the youngest of five children: oldest sister Ruth, oldest brother Jack (killed in WWII during the Battle of the Bulge), sister Mardel and brother Carroll, all of whom are now deceased.
Skip was educated in the Baltimore City public school system, graduating from Baltimore City College in February 1951 with honors. He began Western Maryland College (McDaniel College) in February 1951 and in June 1951 was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War. While serving in the US Army Medical Corp, he was trained as a certified x-ray technician. After certification, he was assigned to a MASH unit in Korea. He finished his military medical career at Aberdeen Proving Ground Hospital in June 1953. Skip returned to Western Maryland College graduating with honors in June 1957 with a BS degree in Biology. While attending college, he became engaged to Patricia “Pat” McWilliams Richter. They were married in December 1957. Skip soon began school at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy graduating again with honors in June 1961. Trained as a retail pharmacist, he commenced practice at The Read’s Drug Store. At that time, he was persuaded to organize and begin the pharmaceutical services for the new Carroll County General Hospital, which opened in 1961. He continued to run the pharmaceutical services at the hospital until a new hospital pharmacist could be obtained. Continuing in retail, he eventually owned two drug stores in Carroll County, the Finksburg Pharmacy and the Taneytown Pharmacy. After selling those stores, he entered employment with the Federal Government and NSA at Ft. Mead, MD. They returned him to pharmacy school to obtain a doctorate after which he was made the Director of BioMedical services (pharmacy, lab, x-ray and drug testing) for the defense department. He retired from the federal government in 2002 having been awarded the Notorious Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award given by the defense department to a civilian. Dr. Amass was well known for his voluntary and dedicated service to many organizations especially in a fundraising capacity. He has served as creator, recruiter, and director for many campaigns over the years. Examples include: the Westminster United Methodist Church, Westminster YMCA, Carroll County Historical Society, Carroll Hospital, Carroll Hospice, American Red Cross, Westminster Rotary Club, Boy Scouts and American Cancer Society. One of his most significant achievements with the American Cancer Society was raising the funds and overseeing the development of their very first free standing “Hope Lodge” in America. A facility for cancer patients undergoing treatment to stay with their family member free of charge. This project cost over $3 million. While at the American Cancer Society, Skip served at local, state and national levels, being elected to every elected office available along the way. Skip spent 28 years in the National Assembly participating on many committees, most of whom he eventually served as chairman. At his completion with the National Assembly, he was awarded the Saint George’s Medal, the highest award given from the American Cancer Society. Among his many recognitions, Skip has been honored with the Distinguished AlumniAward at Western Maryland College (twice). He served on the Board of Trustees for Carroll Hospice for a number of terms as well as serving as Chair. He served on the Board of Directors for Carroll Hospital.Skip also served on the Carroll County Board of Education for 8 years. One term as President and receiving the Distinguished Citizen Award at the end of his service. He served on the Board of the National Association of School Boards. His service to Carroll Community Foundation Board exceeded 20 years. Again, having served in many positions on the Board including chairman. Skip was honored by the Association of Community Colleges with an Outstanding Volunteer of the Year award in 2016. Always dedicated to his profession of pharmacy, Skip was active with the Maryland Pharmaceutical Association, University of Maryland Pharmacy Alumni Association and the American Pharmacist Association. He conducted many programs on drug safety, drug interaction and smoking cessation. Asa result of his services, Skip was awarded the Wyeth Bowl of Hygeig Community Service Award from the Maryland Pharmacist Association in 2004. Skip was always an avid sports fan. In the 1960’s he recruited, organized and chartered the first Colts Corral #16 in Carroll County. They raised funds for the promotion of little league football in Carroll County and took trips to view Colts’ away games. He was the charter President. In 1995, Skip secured a sponsorship from the Westminster Rotary Club and created with other Rotary members the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame which is located at Carroll Community College. Each year, five new members are inducted at the hall of fame banquet. Skip was inducted into the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 as the “Father” of the Hall of Fame. Skip and Pat were happily married for 57 years. Pat passed away in April 2015. Skip and Pat worked together through the years on many projects and received recognition for their efforts. They received the Family Philanthropist of the Year Award in 2009 from the Carroll County Community Foundation.
Dr. Amass was a dedicated Westminster Rotary Club member for over 46 years. He served as President of the club as well as many other elected positions. As a result of his service, the club recognized him with two Paul Harris Fellowships, an award giving for service achievements and the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award for community activities overall.
Skip was predeceased by his wife Patricia and son John Winfield Amass. He is survived by son Gerald Allen Amass and fiancé Robin Wardenflelt, and grandson Jordan Scott Amass, all of Westminster.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Fletcher Funeral & Cremation Services, 254 E. Main St., Westminster.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Meadow Branch Cemetery.
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