Francis X. Pugh Sr.

Francis X. Pugh Sr.

Francis X. Pugh Sr., a former assistant attorney general for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, where he had been chief counsel, died July 17 of cardiac arrest at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

The longtime Timonium resident was 80.

The son of a Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. worker and a homemaker, Mr. Pugh was born in Baltimore and raised on Virginia Avenue.

He was a 1946 graduate of Loyola High School and earned his bachelor's degree in 1950 from what is now Loyola University Maryland.

In the early 1950s, he served in the Army, and after being discharged from the service worked as an insurance claims adjuster for the Reliance Insurance Co.

Mr. Pugh earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore Law School in 1960 and went to work for the Baltimore law firm of O'Conor and Sweeney, where he handled corporate, business, family, labor and various civil and criminal cases.

In 1969, he was appointed an assistant attorney general and, after serving in the criminal, civil and special litigation divisions, was named in 1974 chief counsel to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

In the wake of the Maryland savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, Mr. Pugh drafted the legislation that established the Maryland Deposit Insurance Corp. and served as its counsel. At the time, his area of expertise was time-share fraud.

He retired in 1997.

In addition to his professional life, Mr. Pugh had served on the board of the Montessori School and what is now Stevenson University, where he was the founding director in 1973 of its highly acclaimed paralegal program.

A mock courtroom that the university built is named for Mr. Pugh.

Mr. Pugh, who had earlier taught at the old Mount Vernon School of Law, also taught a course on mediation at the University of Maryland Law School.

He also worked for many years for the Baltimore Mediation Center and had been a member of the speaker's bureau of the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office.

"Given he was an attorney, we who exclusively mediate appreciated his commitment to mediation," said Joseph Chamberlain, who also works as a mediator for the center.

"He had a wonderful sense of humor and was often the subject of his humorous stories, which always made his company a time of joy. I will continue to smile whenever I think of him."

Mr. Pugh was a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Maryland Council on Dispute Resolution.

He was a golfer and played cards with the same poker group where he had been a member since 1954. He also enjoyed an annual family vacation at Ocean City.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 101 Church Lane, Cockeysville, where he was a communicant.

Surviving are his wife of 56 years, the former Ann Marie Hipsley; three sons, Francis X. Pugh Jr. of Freeland, Daniel J. Pugh of Parkville and Timothy M. Pugh of Westminster; two daughters, Mary Ann Ozgun of Westminster and Jeanne McDermott of Frederick; a sister, Gertrude Horney of Frederick; and six grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com