Martin S. ThalerWashington lawyerMartin S. Thaler, a...


Martin S. Thaler

Washington lawyer

Martin S. Thaler, a partner in a Washington law firm and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, died Monday at Washington Hospital Center of complications from abdominal surgery. He was 60 and lived in Clarksville.

Mr. Thaler was born in 1932 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He graduated in 1953 from the College of the City of New York and later served as a corporal in the Army Signal Corps.

After graduating from the Yale University Law School in 1958, he worked as a clerk for Judge Luther W. Youngdahl of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

He was admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia in 1958 and to the Supreme Court bar in 1960.

From 1973 to 1984, he was a director of the First American Bank of Washington (originally the First National Bank of Washington). He also was a member of the executive committee of the Yale Law School Association and a trustee of Glenelg Country School in Howard County.

Before joining Weil, Gotshal & Manges in 1987, he was a partner in the Washington law firms of Martin, Whitfield, Thaler and Bebchick, which he founded; and Verner, Lipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, where he spent about 15 years.

In 1990, he established his firm's office in Budapest, Hungary, where he represented the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund, a private corporation established by Congress to lend money to East European joint ventures.

He taught constitutional law and First Amendment classes at the Georgetown law center.

An avid tennis player, musician and chess enthusiast, he was the 1984-1985 chess champion of the Metropolitan Club of the District of Columbia and participated in international competitions on the club's behalf.

A lover of books, he organized and led Great Books seminars in the Washington area. He also led seminars on the individual and the state for the Metropolitan Club.

His first marriage to Barbara Friedman Mishkin ended in divorce.

Services for Mr. Thaler were held yesterday in Washington.

He is survived by his wife, the former Mary O'Brien; three daughters, Megan of Clarksville, Diane of Bethesda and Amy of Los Angeles; two sons, Paul of Silver Spring and David of Oxford, England; a sister, Rita Minsky of Potomac; a granddaughter; and seven nieces and nephews.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Cancer Institute of the Washington Hospital Center, c/o Dr. Gordon Hafner, 110 Irving St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20010- 2975.


Leoba J. Svehla

Retired teacher

Leoba J. Svehla, a retired Baltimore City teacher, died Nov. 30 of a heart attack at her home in Towson. She was 81.

The Baltimore native graduated from Eastern High School in 1929 and from the State Normal School, now Towson State College, in 1931 with a degree in education.

In 1933, she graduated from the Strayer, Bryant & Stratton Business College, where she learned secretarial skills. She worked as a secretary until she began her teaching career at Brehms Lane Elementary School in 1935.

During her 37 years at Brehms Lane, she received awards from the mayor of Baltimore and the Board of School Commissioners. She retired in 1972.

She was a member of the National Retired Teachers Association and of the Roman Catholic parishes of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Wenceslaus.

Services for Ms. Svehla were held Dec. 3 at Ruck's Towson Funeral Home.

Survivors include three brothers, Albert, James and Frank Svehla; four sisters-in-law, Ann, Marie, Patricia and Claire Svehla, all of Baltimore; five nieces; and eight nephews.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Towson State University Foundation, Class of 1931 Fund.

Henry C. Mills

University vice president

Dr. Henry C. Mills, an educator who held the second highest post at St. John's University, died of congestive heart failure Sunday at the Baltimore County General Hospital in Randallstown.

The 91-year-old Sykesville resident was appointed academic vice president and provost of St. John's in the Jamaica, Queens, section of New York City, in 1967 and retired in 1971.

He previously had been a vice chancellor at Long Island University and before that, a vice president of the University of Rochester.

Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, he received a master's degree and a doctorate in education at Harvard University.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Harriett Matheson; daughters Elizabeth Koehn of Huntington, N.Y., and Sara Mazie of Chevy Chase; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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