Thomas Earle Bourne, 81, retired president of Schindler's Peanut Products, former chairman of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and former mayor of University Park, died Wednesday at Prince George's General Hospital after a stroke.
He took over direction of Schindler's in 1924 as treasurer and general manager and was named president of the firm in 1944. He retired about a year ago.
The company was founded at the turn of the century as the Vegetarian Food and Nut Co. by Washington doctor named Schindler. Dr. Schindler manufactured raw peanut butter for patients complaining of constipation.
The company expended its operations to importing walnuts from England, filberts from Turkey, and nuts from other countries. Today it sells raw, roasted, and salted nuts to retail and institutional customers in the eastern United States. Schindler's stopped making peanut butter about 10 years ago.
Schindler's has offices in College Park and processing facilities in Baltimore.
Mr. Bourne was chairman of the WSSC from 1955 to 1959, and chairman of the Hyattsville Selective Service Board No. 55 for many years.
He had been a member of the boards of directors and an officer of the National Capital Bank of Washington and the Eastern Liberty Federal Savings and Loan Association.
He also was chairman of the board of Capitol Hill Hospital from 1963 to 1972, and served on the hospital's executive committee for 20 years until retiring in 1977.
Mr. Bourne did not meet with universal success in his civic career however.
"I was mayor of University Park from 1936 to 1950," he once told a Washington Post reporter, "and my wife voted against me every election."
Mr. Bourne was a native of Baltimore and a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. After serving as a Navy officer in World War I, he sold beds for a living, and worked for the Pet Milk Co. in Pittsburgh.
He was a member of the Metropolitan Board of Trade, and had been treasurer of the National Peanut Council and secretary and treasurer of the Peanut and Nut Salters Association.
He was a 32nd degree Mason.
Mr. Bourne was an elder of the Hyattsville Presbyterian Church.
He is survived by his wife, Marie A., of the home in College Heights Estate, Md; a daughter, Mary L. Merryman, of Westfield Center, Ohio; three sons, Thomas E. Jr., of Rehoboth Beach Del., John B., and Richard, Both of Washington; two brothers, Kenneth A., of Baltimore, and Earnest LeRoy, of Sebastian, Fla., and 14 grandchildren.
The family suggests that expression of sympthy be in the form of contributions to Hyattsville Presbyterian Church.