Adam D. Cockey Jr., a leader in the Baltimore-area real estate industry who had headed a Roland Park brokerage, died Oct. 30 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson of complications from a fall he suffered last month while on vacation in Phoenix, Ariz. He was 71 and had homes in Cockeysviile and St. Michaels.
Born in Timonium, he was a member of the family that lent its name to Cockeysville. He attended Lutherville Elementary School. He was a 1959 graduate of Towson High School, where he was class president. He earned a business degree from the University of Baltimore.
As a young man, Mr. Cockey purchased failing or underproducing businesses and worked to turn them around before selling them. He owned a paint store and the House of Miller, a caterer.
In 1974, he joined the North Baltimore real estate firm of W.H.C. Wilson. In 1978 he became a partner at the firm, which handled properties in Roland Park, Guilford, Homeland, the Orchards and other neighborhoods.
"The Roland Park buyer is one who really appreciates the character or style of the houses. They love the brown-shingle charm," he said in a 1991 Baltimore Sun article.
In 1981 he became the firm's managing partner and a few years later became its majority owner. News articles in The Sun said that he regularly sold more than $3 million in real estate a year in the 1970s.
"Those who worked for him knew he would do anything for you," said Brandon Gaines, a friend and business partner. "He was a man of high morals. He was a hardworking, caring and smart agent. He was a legend within our industry."
Mr. Gaines said his friend was astute and could take a depressed business and transform it, then sell it at a profit.
"He was cool under fire," Mr. Gaines said. "He could juggle a lot of objects at the same time. He was a good strategist and could secure a property for the right buyer. He was also very engaging. People just liked to be around him."
In 1989 he founded Greater Maryland Mortgage and Greater Maryland Title, later expanding it to include insurance. He sold the Wilson firm in 1998 and became a vice president of NRT Mid-Atlantic Core Services. In 2003 he became vice president of Prudential Carruthers and in 2008 was a partner in Chase Fitzgerald & Co., a real estate firm in the Village of Cross Keys.
"Adam had a sense of humor. He was kind and genuine," said his business partner, Carol J. Schmidt, a Baltimore resident. "He cared about people and causes, and was respected statewide and nationally."
She described him as an approachable, patient listener who "was generous with his time.
"He was a mentor to so many in our industry," she said. "He was a problem solver who could offer solutions."
Carol Bliss, a friend and business colleague, said Mr. Cockey was meticulous about his work and his appearance.
"He could be stern about work because he wanted it to be done the right way," she said. "He made sure his customers were treated with the highest level of professionalism."
Mr. Cockey held many industry positions and won many honors. He was the 1996 Maryland State Realtor of the Year and the 1996 Greater Baltimore Realtor of the Year. He also spoke widely at real estate conventions. In 2008, the Maryland Association of Realtors gave him its Life Achievement Award. He was the 2010 chair of the Real Estate Trends Forum for the National Association of Realtors.
The Morning Sun
"Adam was a friendly, good competitor. He set a great example for everyone," said James P. O'Conor, a real estate broker who lives in Lutherville.
Mr. Cockey was the longtime board chair of the Metropolitan Regional Information Services,
He was a past board and executive committee member of the League for the Disabled. He was a past president of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and served on the foundation board for the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
Mr. Cockey was to have received the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors' Life Achievement Award, which will now be awarded posthumously.
A funeral Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Isaac Jogues Roman Catholic Church, 9215 Old Harford Road.
Survivors include his wife of 39 years, the former Dolores Klein; a son, William Cockey of Nottingham; two daughters, Denise Adams of Parkville and Julie Bonner of Nottingham; a sister, Dottie Cockey of Monkton; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.