Bouse began in 1941 as a clerk in Baltimore Superior Court, one of five courts in the city system that made up the Supreme Bench before the courts were consolidated in 1983 as the Baltimore City Circuit Court.
“He enjoyed his whole life. He was truly a public servant,” said Bouse’s son, Robert H. Bouse Jr., a senior partner at the Baltimore firm Anderson, Coe & King LLP.
Bouse’s service at the court was interrupted by World War II, according to Bouse Jr., who said his father served in the U.S. Army in the Italian campaign. He entered the war as a private and exited as a captain.
Bouse was awarded the Bronze Star with clusters for bravery after his position came under attack and he successfully moved his troops while under fire. He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel.
Bouse, who was in law school at the University of Baltimore before his stint in the Army, never returned to school, but continued to clerk for the Superior Court. In the 1970s he became chief clerk of the court.
“I know he did a herculean job,” said Paul A. Dorf, a former circuit court judge, who is now a partner with Adelburg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler.
“He was always active and he was responsive,” Dorf said. “You could count on him when you needed him. He was synonymous with the court.”
In the 1980s, Bouse lost his elected position as chief clerk and went on to become a temporary administrator of the court for two years. He then spent a decade as a clerk in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore.
Robert Ignatowski, assignment commissioner for the Baltimore City Circuit Court, said Bouse got him his first job with the courts in 1965. The two were neighbors in Fells Point.
“In my many years, I never saw him get angry,” Ignatowski said. “He was always so helpful.”
Bouse lived in the same Ann Street home from birth until he went into hospice just before his death, according to his son.
He was married to the late Frances A. Bouse (nee Rozankowski), who died 13 years ago. Along with Bouse Jr., he was father to Kathy Fuchs and the late Carolyn Bouse.
A vigil service for Bouse will be held at Ruck Towson Funeral Home Inc. at 1050 York Rd. on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Viewings will be held between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Brigid Church, 911 S. Ellwood Ave. in Baltimore on Friday at 10 a.m. Interment will occur at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery.