Zell Charles Hurwitz

Zell Charles Hurwitz

Zell C. Hurwitz, a banker, investor and philanthropist, died Thursday of respiratory failure at Sinai Hospital. He was 82.

The son of a banker and a homemaker, Zell Charles Hurwitz was born in Baltimore and raised on Springdale Avenue.

After graduating from Forest Park High School in 1948, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1952 from the Johns Hopkins University and a law degree in 1954 from the University of Maryland.

By profession, Mr. Hurwitz was a certified public accountant, a licensed real estate broker and a banker. He began his banking career at Sharon Savings & Loan, which had been founded by his grandfather and father in 1930 in the back room of a dry goods store.

Mr. Hurwitz rose to become president and chairman of the bank, and in the 1980s, when state regulators asked him to take over a much larger institution that was in trouble, he built the business with his three sons into Sharon Savings Bank and expanded it to 10 branches.

After the bank was sold in 1989, he and his sons established Trisun Financial Group, an investment, development and equity firm. He was serving as its chairman at his death.

Mr. Hurwitz's philanthropic interests included raising funds locally for Israel through the sale of Israel bonds. He was a past president of the Zionist Organization of America Baltimore District, later BZD.

The Pikesville resident was a member and had been board chairman of Ner Tamid Congregation. He had been a member and board member of Beth Tfiloh Congregation and Jewish Centers of Baltimore.

"He was a gentleman with a gentle soul," said a son, Marc Hurwitz of Miami. "He came from humble beginnings, and he never forgot where he came from."

Services were Sundayat Sol Levinson & Bros.

Also surviving are his wife of 58 years, the former Myrna Wagner; two other sons, Steven Hurwitz and David Hurwitz, both of Baltimore; and eight grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com