J. Max Abramowitz, 92, insurance executiveJ. Max...


J. Max Abramowitz, 92, insurance executive

J. Max Abramowitz, a retired Baltimore insurance executive who fulfilled his lifelong dream of settling in Israel, died of renal failure Friday at his home in Jerusalem. He was 92.

Mr. Abramowitz began selling insurance during the Depression for the Reliance Insurance Co., which was later merged into Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. He retired in 1984 from Abramowitz & Morgan and Associates Inc.

Born in Lithuania, Mr. Abramowitz emigrated to Baltimore in 1904 with his parents and settled in East Baltimore. He was a graduate of City College and earned his law degree in 1925 from the University of Maryland School of Law.

"He [was] one of the first salespeople to market life insurance as an estate-planning vehicle," said a grandson, Alan A. Abramowitz, a Baltimore attorney.

In 1947 and 1948, Mr. Abramowitz worked to obtain weapons for the new Jewish state, and when Israel began selling bonds, he was one of the original solicitors who went from synagogue to synagogue on Yom Kippur urging people to support Israel through the purchase of Israel bonds.

He was associated with Associated Jewish Charities for many years, the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore and the Bais Yaakov School. He also liked entertaining patients at the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital and the Jewish Convalescent and Nursing Home with his Yiddish singing and humorous stories, said family members.

He was 81 when he and his wife, the former Frieda Shifman, decided to move from their Northwest Baltimore residence to Jerusalem.

He spent his days attending lectures, entertaining in Jerusalem senior centers and visiting friends.

Graveside services will be held in Jerusalem.

In addition to his wife of 72 years, Mr. Abramowitz is survived by three sons, Rabbi A. Nathan Abramowitz of Washington, D.C., Irving J. Abramowitz and Dr. Harry Abramowitz, both of Jerusalem; a daughter, Bonnie Kaszovitz of Far Rockaway, N.Y.; 13 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.

Gerald A. Brown, 59, founder of ski shop

Gerald A. Brown, founder of a Reisterstown ski shop, died of cancer Monday at his home in Sparks. He was 59.

Formerly a structural engineer with the city of Baltimore, Mr. Brown decided he wanted to "enjoy life more and because he loved to ski decided to open a ski shop," said his wife of nine years, the former Jeannie Geilfuss.

In 1976, Mr. Brown established The Ski Shoppe Ltd., on Main Street, in Reisterstown, and for several years operated a branch store in Towson. That store is now closed.

Mr. Brown was a member of the board of American Standard for Testing, which tested materials used by the skiing industry, and was an instructor at Ski Liberty. He also competed in downhill racing.

Born and reared in Hamilton, Mr. Brown was a 1953 graduate of City College. He earned an engineering degree in 1967 and a master's degree in liberal arts in 1969 from the Johns Hopkins University.

A memorial service is planned for 10:15 a.m. today at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church, Loch Raven Blvd. and Woodbourne Ave., Baltimore.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Steven Brown of Severna Park; three stepdaughters, Katie Higgins and Susie Higgins, both of Baltimore, and Ginny Lovern of Kalamazoo, Mich.; his mother, Martha A. Brown of Glenarm; and two grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Maryland Special Olympics, 8300 Guilford Rd., Suite A, Columbia 21046.

Richard M. Klein, 72, stationery executive

Richard M. Klein, retired comptroller of a Baltimore stationery company and World War II veteran, died of a heart attack Tuesday at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Towson resident was 72.

Mr. Klein retired from the Baltimore Stationery Co. in 1988 after a 33-year career. Earlier, he had worked as an accountant for the American Oil Co.

The Northeast Baltimore native was a 1941 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of private. A member of the Army Reserves and later the Maryland National Guard, he was discharged a second time in 1978 with the rank of first sergeant. He was a member of VFW Post 9083 in Parkville.

Mr. Klein, who volunteered with the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, also enjoyed golfing and was a member of the Knights of Columbus bowling team.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues, Towson, where he was a communicant.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, the former Julia K. Braun; and a son, Richard L. Klein of Charleston, S.C.

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