Former Maryland state senator Charles M. See, 77, who became blind during his youth and later served in the Maryland General Assembly for 28 years, died Saturday in a Cumberland, Md., hospital. He had a heart ailment.
Mr. See was a member of the House of Delegates for 20 years before he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the State Senate in 1955, where he served until retiring in 1963.
A Republican, he was chairman of the Allegany County legislative delegations for 13 years and also had belonged to the Governor's Master Park Plan Committee.
Mr. See was born in Cumberland and attended the Maryland School for the Blind. He had partial visions in one eye until the age of 16, and was left totally blind following the influenza epidemic of 1918.
He held a variety of jobs in the Cumberland area before entering the legislature. He worked for a credit agency and in a store, and used to accompany a friend, who was a candy salesman, on car trips to West Virginia and other parts of Maryland.
It was during these trips that Mr. See began expounding his political views to people the two travelers met. The friend suggested the Mr. See run for the General Assembly.
Mr. See used to recall that while giving his first political address, from an Allegany County storefront, someone from the crowd wanted to know how a blind man could possibly serve in the legislature.
Mr. See replied, "It's true that I don't see, but I will have someone read all the bills to me. You don't make decisions with your eyes, you make them with your mind."
Following his election, the legislature provided him with a "reading clerk" to help acquaint him with bills. One of those clerks became his wife, Margie.
One of his seeing eye dogs, Mady, became a familiar site in the capital. The dog used to stand for the opening prayer in the Senate each day. Mady died in 1964.
Mr. See also was active in the Maryland Workshop for the Blind. He was honored by that organization at a 1970 dinner for 30 years of service. He was director of the Workshop's Western Maryland Training and Work Center in Cumberland from 1957 to 1970.
He is survived by his wife, of the home in Cumberland.