Joel H. Pachino, an attorney who was active in Baltimore County politics and in the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland, died Tuesday of complications from kidney disease at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 56.
Mr. Pachino, who lived in Pikesville, was a native Baltimorean with a Baltimorean's passion for the Orioles and the Colts. Friends and relatives also told several hundred mourners at his funeral yesterday about his scholar's love of language and knowledge, and his sportsman's love of games.
Mr. Pachino studied at the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore and the Ner Israel Rabbinical College before attending Forest Park High School. He graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., received his law degree in 1960 from the University of Maryland School of Law, then joined the Dundalk law firm of Friedman, Pachino & Friedman, which later became Friedman, Pachino & Garcia.
Although he dabbled in politics and won election to the Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee, Mr. Pachino's energies were directed mostly toward family and a large circle of lifelong friends, according to those who knew him.
He was a former commissioner of the Wellwood Little League, where he helped coach his two sons, Barton P. Pachino, now of Los Angeles, and Michael D. Pachino of Baltimore. He rarely failed to see a play starring his actress daughter, Jamie S. Pachino of Chicago.
Mr. Pachino was an officer of Green Valley Swimming Club; and an officer in his synagogue, Beth Tfiloh in Pikesville.
As vice president of the National Kidney Foundation's Maryland chapter, Mr. Pachino helped in the campaign for organ donations.
But what defined him more was his optimism and good humor, friends recalled.
Even as his kidney disease ultimately forced him off the tennis courts and golf links, his passion for a beachside Scrabble game, a Talmudic discussion or a well-timed joke never left him.
It was his Baltimore upbringing that gave Mr. Pachino a love of sports and games of all types.
When his father died 25 years ago, Mr. Pachino refused to view football as a conflict with his religion, which demanded daily prayer for 11 months after the death. He arranged for a room at Memorial Stadium to be set aside so he and nine other men, forming the traditional Jewish minyan needed to conduct a religious service, could hold a service during halftime of each Colts game.
"Sometimes he had to shout to be heard above the band practicing to go on," a friend recalled.
He was no less fanatical about the Orioles, whose exploits he followed and analyzed like a scholar.
In addition to his children, Mr. Pachino is survived by his wife, the former Gloria Friedman; his mother, Mrs. Anne Mindel of Baltimore; a brother, Barry M. Pachino of Baltimore, and two sisters, Mrs. Roshie Bush of Baltimore and Mrs. Susan Winegard of New York.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland, 2526 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. 21218.