Ralph K. Rothwell Jr., a law firm's managing partner, died of bone cancer Jan. 4 at Sinai Hospital. The Homeland resident was 58.
Born in Fort Lee, Va., he was raised in Austria and Germany, where his father was stationed in the military. The family later relocated to Elkton, and he was a 1966 Tome School graduate. He was class valedictorian.
He earned an English literature degree at the Johns Hopkins University, where he participated in the ROTC and was on the varsity swim team. He received a law degree at the University of Maryland.
While attending Hopkins, he met his future wife, Michele "Micki" Komar, then a College of Notre Dame student. They wed in 1971.
Mr. Rothwell had been a legal counsel for the Army Corps of Engineers, an assistant state's attorney for Baltimore, and an assistant attorney general of Maryland.
"My father had a keen interest in world history and enjoyed studying the American Civil War," said his son, Jacob M. Rothwell of Boulder, Colo. "He was a detail-oriented man and would plan far in advance. He loved litigation and would spend a great deal of time preparing his cases."
Mr. Rothwell later worked in private practice with Edward B. Rybczynski, and for the past 25 years had been with Maslan, Maslan & Rothwell on Eastern Avenue in Baltimore County. He worked in family law and in zoning cases.
He was permitted to argue before the state and federal courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
He was also a member of the Baltimore County, Maryland state and American bar associations; the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association; the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
He served on the county bar's Family Law and Bench and Bar committees. He was also a contributing writer to The Advocate, the Bar Association newspaper.
Mr. Rothwell enjoyed the outdoors with his family on hiking, camping and canoeing trips. With his children, he had been active in the YMCA Indian Guides and Indian Princesses. In 1987, he was named Chief Big Antelope of the Shawan Nation.
An avid runner, Mr. Rothwell competed in the Maryland and Marine Corps marathons as well as Mid-Atlantic regional races. He played golf at the Sparrows Point Country Club. He was a dancer, Center Stage ticket holder and motorcycle rider. He collected cars and was a member of the National Rifle Association.
A Mass was offered Thursday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, where he was a member.
In addition to his wife and son, survivors include a daughter, Amanda Rothwell McConnon of San Francisco; his parents, Ralph and Mary Rothwell of Elkton; and three brothers, Gregory Rothwell of Timonium, Steve Rothwell of Columbia and Mark Rothwell of Elkton.