Michael Barry Sauer, a Towson lawyer and boating enthusiast, died of heart failure Sept. 7 at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Baldwin resident was 61.
Mr. Sauer was born in Baltimore and raised in the Milford Mill area. He was a 1962 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School, and had been a member of its swim team.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Loyola College in 1966 and his law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1969.
After working for Baltimore County State's Attorney Sandra A. O'Connor in the early 1970s, he joined the law firm of Thomas L. Hennessey in Towson.
For the past 25 years, Mr. Sauer maintained his own practice in the Equitable Bank Building on Washington Avenue. He specialized in zoning cases.
He was a member of the Baltimore County Board of Appeals.
"Friends always talked about Michael's determination," said his brother, Francis A. Sauer, also a Towson lawyer. "When he was stricken with polio in 1954, he was told he wouldn't walk again. But he did and went on to have a distinguished swimming career at Calvert Hall."
After a stroke three years ago, Mr. Sauer was given the prognosis by his physicians that he would never walk or talk again. "Within several months, he was back walking, talking and practicing law in his office," his brother said.
Mr. Sauer enjoyed sailing the Chesapeake Bay aboard Brief Recess, his powerboat. He was a member of the board and counsel for the Baltimore Yacht Club.
He was also a Civil War buff and enjoyed reading about the history and lore of Tidewater Maryland.
Mr. Sauer was a communicant of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Hydes, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Tuesday.
Also surviving are his wife of 10 years, the former Laura Hartman; three sons, Patrick M. Sauer of Towson, Todd C. Sauer of Silver Spring and Gregory M. Sauer of Phoenix, Baltimore County; a daughter, Audrey A. Sauer of Baldwin; a sister, Christine C. Johnson of Annapolis; his stepmother, Dorothy A. Sauer of Towson; and a grandson. His marriage to the former Linda Mumford ended in divorce.