Ronald Spahn, Howard County attorney, dies

Ronald Larry Spahn, a Howard County attorney who worked in real estate, died of cancer Saturday at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The Guilford resident was 80.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Mount Washington on Glen Avenue, he was the son of Samuel Spahn, a salesman who had been a professional boxer, and Lillian Singer, a homemaker. He was a 1958 graduate of Boys’ Latin School, where he played lacrosse and was an Ocean City lifeguard.

He remained active in alumni activities and co-founded a Boys’ Latin scholarship with his wife. He helped organize monthly alumni luncheons at Jerry’s Belvedere Tavern. Some alumni wore shirts embroidered with Spahn above the pocket. He is to be honored in May at the school’s homecoming.

“He was an historian of the school,” said J. McDonald “Mac” Kennedy, the school’s alumni director. “He could bring up stories of student shenanigans when the school was on Brevard Street. I don’t think he had any enemies.”

He served in the Air Force Reserves.

He attended Georgetown Law School and graduated from the University of Baltimore Law School. He practiced on Park Avenue in Ellicott City and later moved to Columbia in Oakland Mills.

He became a deputy Howard County state’s attorney and later went into private practice. He worked in real estate and corporate law, handling zoning cases in farm and rural areas. Family members said that early in his career, he was paid in barter by some clients.

He also worked for the owners of Waverly Woods and the Taylor Properties on the site of the former Taylor Manor Hospital in Ellicott City.

Mr. Spahn was recognized by the Howard County Historical Society for his years of service in the community and the revitalization of Ellicott City’s Main Street.

He was vice chair of the Howard County Library Board of Trustees. He volunteered legal work for the Florence Bain Senior Center for 25 years.

He was a volunteer coach in the Howard County Youth lacrosse program. A gardener, he kept a flower garden of lilies and dahlias in a triangle at Millbrook, St. Paul and Charlcote roads in Guilford.

He was a Baltimore Colts and Ravens fan and also attended his children’s and grandchildren’s sports games. He collected antiques and decoys, which he often located at the Waterfowl Festival at Easton.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Sol Levinson and Brothers, in Pikesville.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Gail Altman Spahn, a retired Montgomery County public schools teacher; a son, Jared D. Spahn of Baltimore; a daughter, Rachel Spahn McCurdy of Newtown Square, Pa.; a brother, Manuel Spahn; a sister, Sugar Udell, both of Boynton Beach, Fla.; and five grandchildren.

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