Robert Paul Mittelman, 65, of Poplar Hill, tax, trust lawyer

May 16, 1998|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Robert Paul Mittelman, a Baltimore tax specialist who was active in community affairs, died of a brain tumor Thursday at Stella Maris Hospice at Mercy Medical Center. He was 65.

Mr. Mittelman, a resident of Poplar Hill in North Baltimore, was a partner in the Baltimore law firm Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, where he had worked since 1973. He had been a partner from 1966 to 1973 in the law firm Buckmaster, White, Mindel & Clarke.

A respected tax, estate and trust lawyer, Mr. Mittelman was described by Wilmer C. Stith, a senior vice president at Mercantile Safe-Deposit and Trust Co., as "a tax specialist and a damn good one."

Cleaveland D. Miller, chairman at Semmes, praised him for his meticulous attention to detail, no matter how minute or obscure.

"He was incredibly conscientious, which is always reassuring when dealing with the tax code," Mr. Miller said yesterday. He described Mr. Mittelman as "a gentle and quiet person" who moved easily among clients and staff members of the law firm.

"He was very supportive of new associates and paralegals, and was a willing teacher to them. We've lost a valued partner and fine friend," he said.

A conservative dresser who favored dark suits and horn-rimmed glasses, Mr. Mittelman was known for eschewing "casual

Fridays," when employees may wear less-formal work attire.

"No matter what, he always wore a suit and tie. There was never a casual Friday for Bob," Mr. Miller said.

Born and raised in Scranton, Pa., Mr. Mittelman served in the Army in France from 1954 to 1956.

He earned his bachelor's degree in 1954 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was a 1960 graduate of the Cornell University School of Law and earned a master's degree in taxation from Georgetown University in Washington.

He served in the office of chief counsel of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington from 1961 to 1966 and in 1964 was certified to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Tax Court.

He was a member of the Maryland, District of Columbia and Pennsylvania bar associations.

A former Mount Washington resident, he had lived in Poplar Hill since 1988.

He was a former member of the board of Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Associated Jewish Charities and Concord Apartments Inc. He had been a member of the board of the Mount Washington Community Association and was a founder of the Mount Washington Swim Club.

He was also a former president and board member of the Poplar Hill Association and was a member of the board of the Baltimore City Foundation and a member of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

Mr. Mittelman enjoyed collecting and drinking rare wines, savored the music of Mozart and was a devoted member of Concerts at Shriver Hall. He developed an informed interest in art through his wife and was considered by friends to be a fearsome doubles player at the Bare Hills Tennis Club.

"He said recently that after being married to me for 35 years, he was finally getting an eye for art," said his wife, the former Francine Lang.

"He was something of a Renaissance man," said longtime friend Gilbert Sandler, a Baltimore public relations executive and writer. "I've never known a man who had so many interests and loved so many things."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Mittelman is survived by two sons, Andrew L. Mittelman of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Mark D. Mittelman of Mount Washington; and two brothers, Calvin Mittelman and Jerry Mittelman, both of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Pub Date: 5/16/98

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