Norman V. Waltjen Jr., a retired attorney who had been the law partner of former Gov. William Donald Schaefer, died of congestive heart failure Sunday at Union Memorial Hospital. The former Homeland resident was 89.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Ednor Gardens, he attended the old Mount Washington Country School for Boys and was a 1938 graduate of Loyola High School, where he played ice hockey. He earned a degree at Loyola College and, while a student, took flying lessons at the old Curtiss-Wright Airport in Mount Washington. He became a flight instructor and pilot at the old Baltimore School of Aeronautics, which also had an airfield in Hanover, Pa.
A 1943 Sun article detailed how Mr. Waltjen collaborated on the testing of an early night-landing device patented by Baltimore inventor Charles Adler Jr.
Mr. Waltjen received a commission in the Navy in World War II and taught flying on military bases across the country. Released from active duty in 1946, he remained with the Naval Reserve until he completed 20 years of service and retired as a lieutenant commander.
After the war, he earned a law degree from the University of Maryland. In 1950, Mr. Waltjen went into a partnership with Mr. Schaefer and Mary Arabian at the Munsey Building in downtown Baltimore. The firm was dissolved when Mr. Schaefer entered politics and Ms. Arabian became a judge.
"He was a law partner of the governor. They remained good friends," said his niece, Madelaine Waltjen Shedlick of Chevy Chase. "He was an intelligent, focused man. He loved the city of Baltimore and wanted it to be perfect. He directed his life to doing the right thing."
In 1962, after twice being recommended by the Bar Association to become a judge, he was named vice president for legal matters at Charles Center-Inner Harbor Management Inc., the city's downtown redevelopment agency. He was the agency's in-house counsel who negotiated development agreements with builders and developers.
"He was an indispensable member of our team," said Martin L. Millspaugh Jr., who was the first chief executive of the agency.
Mr. Millspaugh said that Mr. Waltjen was part of the staff who helped rebuild the commercial center of Baltimore. Among the projects he reviewed were the old USF&G and Equitable Trust buildings as well as Harborplace and the Renaissance Hotel and Gallery. He retired in 1990.
"He was a positive, consistent person who quietly got things done. He did them with humor," said Barbara J. Bonnell, a co-worker at Charles Center. "He was a natural leader, too."
Mr. Waltjen was a past president of the Loyola College Alumni Association and was also a trustee of what is now Loyola University of Maryland. He was a two-term president of the Kiwanis Club of Baltimore.
In 2004, he left his Goodale Road home and moved to the Brightwood retirement community, where he served on the board of directors. At his death, he was president of the community.
A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St., where he was a member.
His wife of 46 years, the former Catherine Degnan, died in 1999. In addition to his niece, survivors include four nephews, Gregory William Waltjen, Richard L. Waltjen and Stephen J. Waltjen, all of Pasadena, and Christopher N. Waltjen of Lewes, Del.