Albert Hillsman Michaels, 96, insurance executive

Albert Hillsman Michaels, an insurance executive who was an avid outdoorsman and sports fan, died Friday of congestive heart failure at the Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville. He was 96.

Born in Richmond, Va., Mr. Michaels moved to Baltimore in 1921. He graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1925, said his son, George S. Michaels of Baltimore.


After graduating from Poly, Mr. Michaels began working for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to Syracuse, N.Y., where he spent about five years before returning to Baltimore to help his father, Urlwyn Michaels, establish the U.O. Michaels and Co. insurance firm.

In 1938, he and Elizabeth Colburn married.


In 1969, he helped form Riggs, Counselman, Michaels and Downes, from which he retired in 1973.

One of his daughters, Elizabeth "Betsy" M. Willett of Baltimore, said that Mr. Michaels "worked so hard, but it was always very clear that family came first. We always knew that if we truly needed him, no matter where he was or what he was doing, he would be there for us."

Mr. Michaels was a past president of the Baltimore Junior Association of Commerce and of L'Hirondelle Club. He had been a member of the Elkridge Club, the Greenspring Valley Hunt Club, the Baltimore Country Club and the Bachelors Cotillon. He also was a member of the vestry of the Church of the Redeemer.

Mrs. Willett and her brother recalled spending time during childhood with their father.

"He liked to hunt waterfowl and fish," Mr. Michaels said. "He loved to fish. He'd go as often as he could. I can remember him taking me to Patuxent River to fish for yellow perch when I was about 6." Mrs. Willett said her father often took the family gudgeon fishing.

In addition, "he loved those Colts, and he loved the Orioles and Brooks Robinson, who he called Brooksy," Mrs. Willett said. "I don't think he missed very many games."

His children said he enjoyed playing golf and gardening, and had a large vegetable garden and 36 fruit trees.

Mr. Michaels was a "sharp dresser," his daughter said. At Broadmead, where he and his wife had lived since the early 1980s, they were known as "the styling couple," Mrs. Willett said.


Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer Chapel, 5603 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

Mr. Michaels also is survived by a son, Albert H. Michaels Jr. of Baltimore; a daughter, Lucy H. Michaels of Waverly, Ga.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Donations may be made to the Church of the Redeemer Friends of Music, 5603 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210, or to the Broadmead Residents Assistance Fund, 13801 York Road, Cockeysville 21030.