Alleck A. Resnick, a Baltimore real estate lawyer, philanthropist, Zionist leader and longtime McDaniel College trustee, died Nov. 5 from undetermined causes at FutureCare Cherrywood in Reisterstown. The Pikesville resident was 96.
“Alleck and his wife, Harriet, were absolute fixtures at the college. He believed in the saying that ‘Colleges change lives,’ and that had been his own experience here,” said Roger N. Casey, president of McDaniel College since 2009.
“I called him a Quiet Lion because his philanthropy touched so many lives. He was a man of tremendous giving, but was so humble and quiet about it,” Dr. Casey said.
“It’s not difficult say to something about Alleck and the college. Other than his wife, Harriet, he kept Western Maryland or McDaniel College in his thinking for the rest of his life,” said Martin K.P. Hill of Lineboro, who is chairman of the college’s board of trustees.
“He was constantly reaching out to help the college and making contacts for it in the political and business community. It came natural to him,” Mr. Hill said.
“Alleck was a man of character and would not waver in his support for the college and being a spokesman for it,” he said.
Alleck Albert Resnick was born in Providence, R.I., the son of Max Resnick, an upholsterer, and his wife, Ida Resnick, a homemaker. In the 1920s, the family moved to Baltimore, settling in the Garrison neighborhood.
After graduating from Forest Park High School, Mr. Resnick entered what was then Western Maryland College in 1941.
His college studies were interrupted when he enlisted in the Army after the United States entered World War II.
Fighting in a small near the Dutch border on Thanksgiving Day in 1944, Mr. Resnick was captured with his platoon by German soldiers and sent to Germany as a prisoner of war.
“He was tired, hungry and a prisoner,” according to a statement from McDaniel announcing his death. “Just 21 years old, he prayed, ‘God, get me out of this and I’ll be a good boy.’ ”
Every year at Thanksgiving dinner, Mr. Resnick recalled for family and friends his capture and joked that he thought he was going to be the “Thanksgiving turkey,” family members said.
“When he first told me his POW story he described it with a great deal of passion and emotion and could not complete it,” said Dr. Casey, who lives in Westminster.
Discharged from the Army and decorated with a Purple Heart, Mr. Resnick returned to Western Maryland College, where he was student president and received his bachelor’s degree in 1947.
He earned his law degree in 1949 from the University of Maryland School of Law and was admitted to the Maryland Bar that year.
Mr. Resnick, whose legal expertise was real estate law, began his career with Jacob A. Kartman, founder of Kartman & Moss, which later became Kartman & Resnick, and was located on Redwood Street.
In recent years, Mr. Resnick, who had not retired, was associated with Real Estate Settlements & Escrow LLC.
“He was here diligently every day because he had things to care of,” said Stacy DiGennaro-Chandler, a processor at the Pikesville firm. “We all loved him and he was such an icon here and a legend.”
He was a member of the Maryland State and American bar associations.
A prominent member of the Jewish community, Mr. Resnick had been president of the Baltimore district of the Zionist Organization of America and later was its national president. He had also been president of the Jewish National Fund and Israel Bonds.
Mr. Resnick, who was a member and had served on the board of Temple Oheb Shalom, also had been a member of the board of the old Provident Hospital, a vice president of the Hebrew Free Loan Association, and a member of the executive committee of Associated Jewish Charities.
He had been McDaniel’s national alumni president and national alumni fund chairman. In 1972, he became the first Jewish member elected to McDaniel’s board. At his death, he was a trustee emeritus.
Through the years, Mr. Resnick brought many dignitaries and celebrities to McDaniel’s Westminster campus, including ambassadors from Egypt and Jordan, a Holocaust survivor who had been saved by Oskar Schindler, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Mr. Resnick and his wife never missed a graduation and sat in seats outside of the president’s office in order to take in the spectacle of the senior class procession as they made their way from the chapel and across the quadrangle.
“He loved the procession of the graduates and enjoyed the colors of how they decorated their hats,” Dr. Casey said. “It was a ritual that he enjoyed.”
“He never missed a McDaniel College football game, even in later years,” Mr. Hill said.
“At the stadium, he and Harriet sat in the same seat for home football games. I think we should leave them unoccupied as a tribute to them,” Dr. Casey said.
A longtime tennis player, Mr. Resnick, who had been a multi-year tennis champion at the old Summit Country Club, where he had been president, continued to play into his 80s.
Mr. Resnick’s wife of 71 years died in August.
Funeral services were held Nov. 9 at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.
Her is survived by a son, Lee Resnick of Hampden; a daughter, Ilene Rogers of Owings Mills; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Another son, Neal Resnick, died in 1980.