Jesse S. Weinberg, who practiced law for seven decades and made a specialty of Baltimore's ground rents, died of respiratory failure March 20 at Sinai Hospital. The Pikesville resident was 94.
Born in Baltimore and raised near Druid Hill Park on Lakeview Avenue, he was the son of Harry M. Weinberg, a haberdasher, and Minnie Needle Weinberg, a homemaker. According to an autobiographical sketch, he was born on his parents' 11th anniversary.
He attended the old Robert E. Lee School, No. 49, and was a 1935 City College graduate.
Mr. Weinberg wrote that as a young man he wanted to be a lawyer, He enrolled in the University of Baltimore School of Law and graduated in 1940. He passed the Maryland bar exam on his first attempt in November 1940 at age 22 and was sworn in by the Maryland Court of Appeals as an attorney in 1941.
Mr. Weinberg practiced law until he was 92.
He was drafted into the Army in June 1942 and underwent infantry training at Fort McClellan in Alabama and later served at Drew Field in Tampa, Fla. He was placed in an intelligence unit for an aircraft radar warning center. His job was to examine incoming soldiers for security clearance, and he studied their personal references and their interactions with their local police.
Mr. Weinberg said that as the Allies were advancing through Europe in 1944, he was sent to additional infantry training at Camp Gordon in Augusta, Ga. He sailed across the Atlantic aboard the Queen Elizabeth, then converted into a troopship. He recalled that the trip took five days, and they landed at Southampton, England.
He said unit crossed the Ernglish Channel to Le Havre, France, where the soldiers was placed in freight cars and transported to Belgium. He was assigned to the 99th Infantry Division.
His unit was in the Bavarian Alps when victory was declared in Europe in May 1945. He was told he would be assigned to Nuremberg for the war trials, but his plans changed when he was placed in an infantry division bound for Japan. Those pl;ans also changed, however, and he returned to the U.S., was given a 30-day furlough and celebrated V-J Day in Baltimore.
After his discharge in December 1945, Mr. Weinberg returned to Baltimore and resumed practicing law, forming an association with his cousin, Sidney B. Needle. They practiced at 343 N. Calvert St.
While attending a cousin's wedding, he met the woman who would become his wife, Esther Mirmelstein.
He recalled that one of his clients was Calvert Saving & Loan. His duties included the closings for all loans Calvert issued. He was later named Calvert's vice president and made head of its mortgage department.
He remained with the organization after Calvert merged with Yorkridge. The merged operation was known as Yorkridge-Calvert Saving & Loan Association. He retained his post as vice president in the mortgage department.
After Mr. Weinberg left the savings and loan in the early 1980s, he operated a law practice from his Pikesville home. He also owned and managed more than 600 Baltimore ground rents.
In his autobiographical sketch, he said that "if he ever had to eject someone for nonpayment, he never once took possession of a property when it was individually occupied by the property owner."
His son, Howard M. Weinberg of Baltimore, said that keeping up with the management of his ground rents was daunting at times.
"We would drive around, look at the property, see if it were occupied," said his son. "Often the rents were for $40, but my father was determined."
Mr. Weinberg gave up practicing law July 1, 2012, when he was 92.
"My father had a daily routine," his son said. "He went to the bank in Pikesville, the post office, the grocery store and the library. He checked out a dozen books at a time."
He was a member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation and served on the board of United Hebrew Cemetery on Washington Boulevard.
Services were held March 24 at Sol Levinson and Brothers.
In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of nearly 65 years; another son, Steven A. Weinberg of Dallas; a daughter, Marjorie L. Weinberg of Baltimore; and two granddaughters.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun