Richard M. Kastendieck, attorney

Richard Kastendieck died July 5 in Towson. He was 67.

Richard M. Kastendieck, a former Maryland assistant attorney general, died July 5 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson after an 11-month battle with cancer. He was 67.

"He always liked litigating," said his wife, Sally J. Miles. "He loved arguing. He liked being on stage."


The son of Miles M. Kastendieck, a music critic and English teacher, and Clementine H. Hall, Mr. Kastendieck was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1948 and later graduated from Poly Prep High School.

Mr. Kastendieck had a zest for adventure and attended the Woodstock Festival in 1969. His family kidded him for years about going alone to the music event


Mr. Kastendieck earned an economics degree from Drew University; a master's degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a law degree from Temple University. After college, Mr. Kastendieck spent two years with VISTA (now AmeriCorps) as a draft counselor during the Vietnam War.

In 1983, he married Ms. Miles. The couple met when Mr. Kastendieck served as a clerk for a judge and Ms. Miles worked as a law librarian in Bucks County, Pa. The couple immediately hit it off but ran into a snag — each person had another date later that evening, chuckled Ms. Miles, a retired law librarian at the U.S. Supreme Court.

One other thing attracted Ms. Miles to Mr. Kastendieck: His father's first name was the same as her surname.

"He had a wonderful sense of humor," Ms. Miles said. "You could pick out his laugh anywhere. He had a lot of energy."

After Ms. Miles spent several years in Boston, she returned to her native Baltimore. Mr. Kastendieck soon followed. The couple bought their first home in Charles Village.

During his law career of more than 35 years, Mr. Kastendieck practiced in Philadelphia, Bucks County and Baltimore. In 2003, he retired from the Maryland attorney general's office after nearly 20 years of service, when he started to have trouble with his hearing.

While with the attorney general's office, he headed the litigation team for the corrections department and the Maryland State Police.

Jerry Langbaum, a former assistant attorney general and chief counsel to the state comptroller, said he and Mr. Kastendieck became friends over the love of baseball, not legal work. Both men competed in a fantasy baseball league, while their families grew close.


Langbaum described Mr. Kastendieck as a "renaissance man" and said: "He was well read and down to earth. He's the kind of guy you'd like to have as a friend. It's a terrible loss."

One of Mr. Kastendieck's passions was to give back to the community.

He spent 20 years as a board member with New Pathways, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children. He served as president of the Mount Washington Improvement Association in 1999 and a board member of the Mount Washington PTO.

During his childhood, Mr. Kastendieck's family bought a gristmill — built in 1744 — in Salisbury, Conn., and converted it into a summer home. He took pride in building stone walls at the home and maintaining the pool with a working paddle wheel. He last visited the summer house in April.

"That was his nirvana," Ms. Miles said. "He loved being there."

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Mr. Kastendieck played football in high school and wrestled in college. He was an avid Orioles and Ravens fan and in 2013 attended Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, where the Ravens became world champions.


He and a group of friends from the Mount Washington neighborhood developed a love for hiking. Mr. Kastendieck hiked the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park and the Camino de Santiago — the Pilgrim's Way in northern Spain.

Even while battling cancer, Mr. Kastendieck remained active. He hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail with friends and attended a weekly Pilates class.

"He liked the competition," said Mr. Kastendieck's son, Miles, of Lutherville. "It was the community of friends he kept. They did everything together."

A celebration of Mr. Kastendieck's life will be held Aug. 23 from 4 p.m. through 7 p.m. in his family home at 1206 Somerset Place in Lutherville. A family memorial will take place in Connecticut in October.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Kastendieck is survived by a daughter, Molly of Washington; a brother, Dr. Jon Kastendieck of Denver; and a sister, Carol Kastendieck of Salisbury, Conn.