Darrell J. Nevin, founder and managing director of LeaseWright Commercial Real Estate LLC, an active Rotarian and a gourmet, died Feb. 27 of prostate cancer at his Columbia home. He was 64.
“Darrell was an incredibly gifted writer, an eloquent speaker who had incredible analytical skills whether it was about leases, politics or how to win a game of poker,” said Dr. David Schneiderman, a Placerville, California, gastroenterologist, and boyhood friend of 59 years.
“He had the ability to see things with a wide panoramic view. Darrell was insightful and inquisitive," he said. "He was just a brilliant, brilliant man.”
Darrell Jay Nevin, son of Albert Nevin, a Social Security worker, and his wife, Ruth Nevin, who worked in real estate sales, was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and later moved with his family to a home on Dayta Drive in the Woodmoor neighborhood of Baltimore County.
After graduating in 1973 from Milford Mill High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Ambitious when growing up, family members said, Mr. Nevin worked at the Uptown Delicatessen on Park Heights Avenue as a butcher for Michael Gorelick at the Belair Market, and while in college, cooked at several Blacksburg restaurants.
After college, he worked as a Baltimore postal worker and was assistant manager of Biddle Street Station, a catering company. He subsequently managed the Rotunda Mall in Hampden, and during the 1990s, was property manager of the Rouse Co. buildings in Columbia.
In 1995, Mr. Nevin was named executive property manager of MIE Properties, a commercial real estate firm where he worked until establishing his own firm, LeaseWright Commercial Real Estate LLC, in 1996 in Columbia.
“He ultimately chose his profession writing leases for tenants, but felt corporations had too much power over individuals, so he switched sides when he founded LeaseWright representing tenants in lease negotiations,” Dr. Schneiderman said.
“It was lucky for me to get to know him over the last eight years. I was very fortunate,” said Helen L. Dellheim, who works in commercial real estate sales for Keller Williams Realty in Columbia. “Outgoing and friendly, he helped give people access to the commercial real estate world.”
“With the vast knowledge drawn from his work experience, Darrell was able to follow his dream of creating his own consulting business, LeaseWright LLC, where he became a business tenant advocate,” wrote his sister, Ilene Eddey, of Morristown, New Jersey, in a profile of her brother.
“He championed small businesses and advocated for fair practices and treatment for his clients. He was highly regarded by many in the Columbia community and beyond,” she wrote. “He guided many new men and women professionals through the process of office leasing and provided expert advice for their continued business success."
Mr. Nevin was a past president of the Columbia Business Exchange.
Another focus of Mr. Nevin’s life was the Rotary Club of Columbia-Patuxent, where he had been a member for more than 25 years and president in 1999 and 2000. He was also a member of Rotary International.
“Darrell had the mind and heartset of Rotary and truly embodied that,” said Ms. Dellheim, a Columbia resident. “He dreamed and breathed the Rotary and its four tenets, which he shared with the people he worked with. He used to say that everything was going to be a ‘win-win.’”
The four Rotary principles are: “First: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity of service; Second: High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society; Third: the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life; and Fourth: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.”
In 1998, he was named Rotarian of the Year by the Roatary Club of Columbia-Patuxent.
Mr. Nevin’s hobbies were golfing and, as a member of the Columbia Association, he played at local courses.
A former high school soccer player, Mr. Nevin coached youth recreation soccer and had been the boys soccer coach at Wilde Lake High School for several years. He was also an avid Ravens fan.
He enjoyed cooking and entertaining family and friends with meals he prepared.
“He had a lifelong interest in cooking for others no matter the size of the crowd or how empty the cabinets were,” wrote his wife of 35 years, the former Kathryn Galicki, a home improvement contractor. “He was always able to create something delicious from anything in anyone’s refrigerator. He was a true ‘Foodie’ in all sense of the term.”
Some of his specialties included roasts, “his famous potato salad,” his wife said, and soups.
“Nothing made him happier than to have a crowd over to cook for whether it was for his children’s friends, his family, his own friends or business acquaintances,” his wife wrote in the email.
“He had a large social circle and was passionate about cooking for friends and his kitchen was always open,” Ms. Dellheim said. “He was a real bon vivant.”
“That’s why we bought this house in Columbia because it was made for entertaining,” Mrs. Nevin said in a telephone interview.
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Mr. Nevin, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago, closed his business last year.
He was a member of Bridgeway Community Church, a nondenominational Columbia church.
“Darrell will be remembered and revered not only for his highly regarded business acumen but even more so for his huge generosity of spirit, his calm demeanor, his grand sense of humor, his love of cooking for others, his depth of knowledge, his interest in others’ well-being and his inclusiveness of everyone he met,” Mrs. Nevin wrote in an email.
Plans for a celebration of life service for Mr. Nevin are incomplete.
In addition to his wife and sister, he is survived by a son, Andrew Nevin of Patterson Park; a daughter, Hanna Skove of Mount Airy; two brothers, Scott Nevin of Severna Park and Marc Bevin of Moneta, Virginia; and a granddaughter.