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Obituaries

Theodore C. Denick, prominent Baltimore real estate attorney and lover of the outdoors, dies

Theodore C. Denick helped start a Jewish camping club for 20 families called the Baltimore Bunch.

Theodore C. Denick, a veteran Baltimore attorney, outgoing Scout leader and member of Baltimore’s Jewish community, died of liver cancer March 12 at North Oaks Retirement Community in Pikesville. The longtime Lutherville resident was 95.

Mr. Denick was born on Oct. 25, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, to Jacob Yedinak, a businessman, and Dorothy “Dora” Castine, a homemaker. Mr. Denick moved to Glen Avenue in Baltimore with his family when he was 16. After graduating high school at Baltimore City College, Mr. Denick was drafted into the Army and served as a riflery instructor based in St. Augustine, Florida, during World War II.

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After the war, Mr. Denick attended the University of Maryland on a G.I. Bill, during a time when there were way more students than dorm rooms, causing Mr. Denick to live in a tent on the lawn of UMD’s McKeldin Mall for a year. Mr. Denick met Ruth Horrowitz at a Hillel event on campus in 1949 and they married on Dec. 24, 1950.

Mr. Denick and Mrs. Ruth H. Denick, who worked as a bookkeeper for 50 years for his law firm Bass & Denick, were married for 69 years. They were separated by COVID-19 health protocols in 2020 when Mrs. Denick was in hospice for eight weeks before she died on May 13, 2020. She tested positive for the coronavirus the day before she died.

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“You would never say ‘Ted’ without saying ‘Ted and Ruth.’ My mother was truly a partner of his through life, and she worked in the law firm with him,” said John Denick, their son. When they moved to a retirement community and Mrs. Denick required assisted living, Mr. Denick left his apartment in independent living to have lunch with her every afternoon.

“He did not miss a day until the lockdown with COVID hit,” said Mrs. Robin Denick, his daughter-in-law. “He was her advocate, he was a very loving and supportive spouse and that was a beautiful thing to see.”

While on their honeymoon, the newlyweds couldn’t find an open liquor store in upstate New York and settled on purchasing a bottle of sparkling burgundy at their hotel. The couple later celebrated wedding anniversaries with sparkling burgundy.

Mr. Denick worked as a title searcher for a real estate firm while attending night classes at the University of Maryland Law School. He graduated in 1952 and decided, with his wife, to change their last name from Yedinak to Denick. They believed it was easier to pronounce and good for business as potential clients could find him faster in the “D” section of the Yellow Pages phone book.

Their son John was born in 1954 and their daughter Carol was born in 1957. Carol Ann Denick died of cancer in 2004.

Mr. Denick and Leonard Bass formed their own law firm, Bass & Denick, based in downtown Baltimore in the Munsey Building on Calvert Street. They also established Businessman’s Savings & Loan. After 40 years, Mr. Bass retired and Mr. Denick joined his son, Mr. John Denick, at his law practice John H. Denick & Associates. Mr. Denick loved being a lawyer to the point he practiced for another 20 years before retiring at 85 years old.

Mr. Denick became well known for his real estate counsel, along with other business and banking, and his clients were primarily entrepreneurs who became developers, landlords and investors. He also served as the general counsel for Sharon Savings & Loan. He created a family of Baltimore lawyers, as his son, daughter-in-law, brother and nieces and nephews practice law.

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“He had a very sharp, analytical mind and he really had that through the end. He always knew what was going on. He never complained about anything. He was just so optimistic,” Mrs. Robin Denick said. “And he was just fun to be around, and I say that’s fun with a capital “F” because people just gravitated to him because he had such a great sense of humor. He was so warm and inclusive.”

Mr. Denick and his wife joined Beth El Congregation in Pikesville in 1950. Mr. Denick loved the outdoors and was a Boy Scout leader for the congregation’s troop for more than 10 years. Despite not having the best voice, he was known as a boisterous campfire song leader.

He became the chair of the Jewish Committee on Scouting for the Baltimore Area Council and was awarded a Silver Beaver, the highest award for adult scout leaders. He helped start a Jewish camping club for 20 families called the Baltimore Bunch, which he and his wife participated in until the couple built a cottage at the Woods Resort near Hedgesville, West Virginia. There they played golf and entertained friends.

Mr. Denick also enjoyed traveling abroad and statewide and would take his children and grandchild on a big trip every five years. They took cruises and visited Israel several times, along with Alaska and Hawaii, and England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Greece. As a hobby, Mr. Denick liked to woodwork in his basement workshop and was a skilled carpenter.

He was known to smoke a pipe and over the years collected an impressive pipe collection. He also collected stamps.

“If you were on the outskirts of an event, he waved you over and made you come over and be part of the group. He was always so welcoming. He and his wife were always so hospitable. Particularly when they were younger and able to entertain friends and family and clients,” Mrs. Robin Denick said.

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Services were held March 13 at Sol Levinson’s Chapel at 8900 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville. He was interred at Beth El Memorial Park in Randallstown.

In addition to his son and daughter-in-law, of Baltimore, he is survived by his brother, Bernie Denick, of Baltimore; grandchildren Daniel Levenstein of Lutherville, Julia and Laura Denick of New York City; great grand-daughters, Clara and Leah Levenstein; and six nieces and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife and daughter and his sister, Leslie Peck.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated when Ruth H. Denick died. She died May 13, 2020. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.


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