William B. Dulany, attorney and state delegate, dies

Willliam B. Dulany died March 19 at <runtime:topic id="ORGHC00049">Sinai Hospital</runtime:topic>. He was 89.
Willliam B. Dulany died March 19 at Sinai Hospital. He was 89. (HANDOUT)

Willliam B. Dulany, founder of Westminster law firm and a former member of the House of Delegates who was a longtime McDaniel College trustee, died March 19 at Sinai Hospital from cancer. He was 89.

"Bill was a very gifted attorney and the law and his family were his true loves," said Thomas C. Beach IV, who is a partner in the firm, Dulany, Leahy Curtis & Beach LLP. "He didn't play golf and truly loved the law. He worked six days a week."


"His love was the law and practicing law," said his wife of 64 years, the former Winifred "Win" Spencer. "He loved what he did. It was not work."

William Bevard Dulany was born and raised in Eldersburg to William W. Dulany, a real estate professional, and Helen Bevard Dulany, a school teacher.


After graduating in 1944 from Sykesville High School — where he had been class president — he entered what was then Western Maryland College, now McDaniel.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1945 and served as an aerographer until being discharged in 1948. He then returned to college and obtained a bachelor's degree in 1950.

The college in Westminster was the backdrop of a love that culminated in marriage.

"I was a freshman and he was a senior, and I grabbed him at the end of the school year three weeks before he graduated," said Mrs. Dulany, who had been an English and music major at the college.


They married in 1952.

Mr. Dulany began studying law at the University of Michigan. After a year, he transferred to the University of Maryland School of Law and obtained his law degree in 1953.

He began his law career in 1953 working for Baldwin, Jarman & Norris in the Fidelity Building on Charles Street, and in 1959 the former Catonsville resident established the Law Offices of William B. Dulany at 123 E. Main St. in Westminster.

For 62 years until retiring in 2014, Mr. Dulany maintained a general law practice with an emphasis on estates and trusts.

Today the firm, which is still in its original location, is known as Dulany, Leahy Curtis & Beach.

"I first met Bill about nine years ago when I became an associate at his firm in Carroll County," Mr. Beach said. "He was unique, and his practice was a large part of his life.

"He was 80 when I started and he was my mentor," Mr. Beach said. "He was a great attorney and had so many clients that they became generational."

He described Mr. Dulany as "a true gentleman."

"He was persuasive and, as an attorney, was extremely diplomatic. He was a very effective and the consummate advocate," Mr. Beach said. "He would listen to clients and then give back to them what they needed to know."

He praised Mr. Dulany's writing skills when it came to legal documents.

"He ... could draft documents whose meanings were completely clear and understandable. It is a talent," he said.

Mr. Dulany had served as president of the Carroll County Bar Association, and as vice president of the Maryland State Bar Association. He helped form the state association's Administrative Law Section and later chaired it for four years.

He also had been president of the Maryland Bar Foundation and was a member of the American Bar Association. He was admitted to practice before the Maryland and Federal Courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Tax Court and the Interstate Commerce Commission.

In addition to his legal career, Mr. Dulany was active in politics. In 1960, he chaired Citizens for Kennedy for Carroll County.

"Jack Kennedy, his secret was getting out the votes," Mr. Dulany told the Carroll County Times in a 2013 interview. "You can talk all you want, but you've got to get those votes out. And that's what we tried to do for him."

"Bill was a Democrat, but I never held that against him," Mr. Beach said with a laugh.

Mr. Dulany was elected to the House of Delegates in 1962 and served until 1966.

In the mid-1960s, was elected Carroll County's representative to the Maryland Constitutional Convention. He served as public information officer for the convention.

In 1969, Gov. Marvin Mandel appointed Mr. Dulany as a commissioner to the Maryland Human Relations Commission.

Mr. Dulany worked to put into effect in 1965 the first comprehensive zoning plan for Carroll County and also chaired the first committee that resulted in founding, in 1976, of Carroll Community College.

He had also been chairman of the national board of the American Heart Association, where he donated much time and effort, family members said.

He served as a trustee of McDaniel College for 37 years until stepping down in 2013.

During his tenure, the college formed its for-profit corporation and built the Best Western-Westminster Hotel and Conference Center.

He also chaired the college's buildings and grounds committee during a period when all of the academic buildings on the campus were either restored, renovated or constructed.

"A champion fundraiser, he was essential to every major campaign in recent history," said college president Dr. Roger N. Casey in a news release announcing Mr. Dulany's death.

Mr. Dulany and his wife were residents of the Fairhaven retirement community in Sykesville, and also spent time at Tranquillity Farm, a grain farm, near Westminster.

He was a trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, a member of the Historical Society of Carroll County and the Bachelors Cotillion.

Mr. Dulany was proud of his Irish heritage, family members said. He was a descendant of Daniel Dulany, who left Dublin with his two older bothers, William and Joseph, and settled in Port Tobacco in 1703.

"His loved history and was a voracious reader," Mrs. Dulany said. "He was interested in American History, the Revolutionary War and George Washington."

Mr. Dulany was a communicant of Ascension Episcopal Church in Westminster where he had been a member of the vestry and was a lay regional commissioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. He chaired the board of Episcopal Ministries to the Aging for 17 years.

A memorial service for Mr. Dulany will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Fairhaven, 7200 3rd Ave., Sykesville.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Bryant Dulany of Mount Airy and Patrick Dulany of Great Falls, Va.; a daughter, Anne F. Eliason of Crozet, Va.; a brother, Harry Dulany of Timonium; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

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