Stephen J. Glick was a man who wasn't happy until he knew exactly how things worked.
This obsession made him an expert on every obscure regulation in golf, prevented him from having fun with a pocket computer until he'd figured out all of its functions and led him to the top at Rose Shanis, the personal loan business his mother founded in 1932.
"In the family business, you started at the bottom and Steve has been working there since he was able to put paper clips into piles," said his wife, the former Sue Marcus. "He began making collections door to door. No one does that anymore, but that's how you learned in those days."
Today, Rose Shanis has a dozen offices around the state and has done particularly well over the past 10 years since Mr. Glick -- working with siblings who inherited the business -- stepped forward to become chief executive officer.
"He came in here years ago as my little brother but real quick he turned into a super businessman," said Norman Glick. "The title of little brother was quickly erased."
Steve Glick, 56, died at his Canton home yesterday after being in a coma since suffering cardiac arrest about a month ago. Services will be at 9: 30 a.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Inc., 8900 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville.
Born in Baltimore's Forest Park neighborhood, Mr. Glick attended Park School from second grade. In fourth grade, he met the little girl who would become his wife. They graduated from high school in 1958 and were married two years later, after Mr. Glick left the University of Maryland to join the family business.
On Dec. 21, the Glicks were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary at their favorite restaurant, Ikaros in Highlandtown. The next day, the athletic, strong-willed and seemingly fit Mr. Glick collapsed while working out on a treadmill.
In high school, Mr. Glick excelled at lacrosse. Later, while most of his friends were playing tennis and deriding golf as an old man's game, he took to the links.
He loved to sail with his wife and a few close friends. Seven years ago, they moved from Northwest Baltimore to a waterfront rowhouse in Canton to be close to the water and their 34-foot sailboat, the Odyssey.
"We've been sailing off and on for most of our married life," said Mrs. Glick, who traveled with her husband on the Chesapeake Bay, cruised waterways in Maine and Florida, and island-hopped throughout the Caribbean. "Before Steve ever took the helm he was studying and going to classes and learning on paper."
Mr. Glick was introduced to sailing by Stan Dorman, a friend since the early 1960s when they were pledging a fraternity together.
"Steve and I bought a 98-acre farm together in Parkton after the  riots out of fear that things might get really bad," Mr.
Dorman said. "We liked the idea of having a farm so much that we forgot about the survival aspect. Steve got into raising chickens. He actually took eggs in to his employees and sold them at below-market rates. They were good eggs."
Of Mr. Glick's real job, Mr. Dorman said: "It was very stressful, and Steve was a worrier. For all the years I knew him, he wrestled with the business, but he loved it."
For all of his success, Steve Glick was known as a man who could not abide pretense or rudeness; who quietly gave of himself and his money to charity -- exemplified by his volunteer work as president of the local Jewish Big Brother & Big Sister League.
Though generally quiet, he could be funny.
"He was his own person," said Sue Liebman of Pikesville, a sister. "He was a lovable guy, my cute little brother."
Mr. Glick's mother, Rose Shanis Glick, died in 1976. His father, David Glick, died eight years later.
In addition to his wife and siblings, he is survived by two daughters, Rachael Glick and Valerie Glick, both of Baltimore; and a son, William Glick of Lima, Peru.
Pub Date: 1/24/97