Michael R. Naver, a retired Social Security Administration public affairs specialist who had earlier been an Evening Sun reporter and assistant city editor, died Friday of undetermined causes at Gilchrist Center in Towson. The former longtime Timonium resident was 86.
Michael Richard Naver who was born and raised in New York City, the son of Alphonse Naver, an attorney, and his wife, Mary Naver, a teacher.
While a student at Stuyvesant High School, Mr. Naver began writing for The Spectator, the school’s newspaper, and acquired his first bylines.
After graduating in 1950, he enrolled at Columbia College, where he studied literature, history and political science, and joined the staff of the Columbia Spectator, the campus daily newspaper, when he was a freshman.
He rose to news editor and was student correspondent for the old New York Herald Tribune, which earned him professional bylines.
After working briefly as a researcher for Newsweek, in 1956 Mr. Naver joined the staff of the Bergen Evening Record in Hackensack, N.J., where he was a general assignment reporter.
Two years later, he joined The Evening Sun as a local reporter, and during the next decade, held a variety of positions, including rewrite, covering state government and City Hall, as well as local politics. From 1966 to 1968, he was an assistant city editor.
“Mike brought a New York style of sophistication, humor and know-how to the Evening Sun newsroom, and was a very popular newsroom figure,” said Ernest F. Imhoff, a retired Evening Sun and Baltimore Sun editor and Mount Washington resident. “He was very sharp and kept us all together.”
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From 1968 until retiring in 1999, Mr. Naver worked at the SSA’s Woodlawn headquarters as a public affairs specialist and later was director of internal and external communications.
Mr. Naver taught journalism and communications part-time at Towson University, published a newsletter in the 1980s for communicators, and was the author of “Informing the People: A Public Affairs Handbook.”
Mr. Naver, who moved to the Oak Crest Village retirement community last year, enjoyed playing bridge, golf and tennis.
“He also liked going out with his buddies and smoking a cigar,” said his wife of 54 years, the former Irid Bucci, a registered nurse practitioner. “They called themselves the ROMEO — Retired Old Men Eating Out.”
Mr. Naver was a communicant of Nativity of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church, 20 E. Ridgely Road, Lutherville, where a memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday.