Dr. Otis B. Michael, a retired physician and former chairman of the city's Commission on Aging, died of cancer May 2 at Seasons Hospice at Northwest Hospital Center. The Pikesville and Inner Harbor resident was 82.
Born in Asheville, N.C., he was the son of Dr. Otis Bentley Michael, a physician, and Nannie Patterson Michael, a homemaker. He earned a degree at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., and served in the Army. He practiced medicine in Asheville, N.C. He was also a cardiologist.
Dr. Michael, a pilot, ran an air ambulance service to fly patients to get medical care. He also won a seat as a Republican on the Asheville City Council.
Dr. Michael retired from his practice and moved to Baltimore to be near family members in 2000.
He enjoyed playing cards and having dinners with friends at their homes.
"He was one of the best poker players around. He was very disciplined," said William Hankins, a retired hospital administrator who lives in Baltimore. "He was a fantastic individual and a giving person."
"He was full of life, a Renaissance kind of guy. He was very smart and was always engaging," said another friend, Dr. James E. Wood of Baltimore. "He had the quiet confidence of a man who had achieved his life goals."
In 2006, he served as chairman of Baltimore's Commission on Aging.
In 2008, he was honored by Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Swirnow Charitable Foundation with a lectureship in his name that honored his years in the medical profession.
A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the March West Funeral Home, 4300 Wabash Ave.
Survivors include a son, Otis B. Michael Jr. of Redmond, Wash.; two daughters, Robin M. Earnest of College Park and Nikkie L. Friedman of Manhasset, N.Y.; his sister, Helen Patterson of Pikesville; and two grandchildren.