Charles M. Solomon, 62, founded public accounting firm, volunteer

April 01, 1999|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Charles M. Solomon, a certified public accountant who founded a public accounting firm and was active in civic affairs for more than three decades, died Monday of cancer at University of Maryland Medical Center. The Northwest Baltimore resident was 62.

Mr. Solomon, who was known as "Chase," was given the nickname, family members said, by his grandfather, who admired the films of Baltimore silent-screen legend Charlie Chase.

A 1958 graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Solomon worked for the Internal Revenue Service while attending the University of Baltimore Law School. He earned his law degree and passed the Maryland Bar in 1966.

He began his accounting practice in the basement of his home and soon moved to the 30th floor of what is now the NationsBank Building at 10 Light St.

Still located in the same offices, he was working at the time of his death for the firm which is now known as Solomon & Nislow, P.A.

Because his clients were smaller companies, the role of Mr. Solomon was an encompassing one of a part-time controller.

Leonard A. Siems, a longtime friend and former client who was the founder and former president of Siems Rental & Sales, said, "He gave me a good deal of guidance over the years and a lot of wise counsel."

Mr. Solomon explained his business philosophy in "Business in a Changing World," a textbook published in 1993 by Southwestern Publishing Co.

"The potential in accounting is unlimited for people who work hard and who are willing to accept responsibility. The accountant meets interesting people and deals with new challenges every day. No two businesses are alike, each of our clients is a fascinating case history," he said.

He taught accounting and finance at Morgan State University and the Eastern College of Commerce and was an active member of numerous professional associations.

Mr. Solomon brought to his civic and charitable interests the same enthusiasm he brought to his work.

In 1974, he was the youngest person elected president of the Kidney Foundation of Maryland and subsequently worked as a lecturer and fund-raiser for United Way and was a co-founder, board member and treasurer of Downtown Baltimore Child Care Inc. He also was a founder of Baltimore Neighborhood Resource Bank and a board member of Citizens Planning and Housing Association. He was a supporter of the finance committee of the Baltimore City Fair and served as a board member of Towson State University Foundation.

"He couldn't contribute enough to the city," said Christopher C. Hartman, who was chairman of the first three City Fairs and is a public relations consultant.

"He was a friendly, warm human being who loved downtown Baltimore. He'd been quietly involved and behind the scenes of many major projects for the city," he said.

"He was a sweetheart. A real gentleman who was delightful to work with," said Hope C. Quackenbush, former managing director of the Mechanic Theatre and director of the City Fair.

Born and raised in Forest Park, Mr. Solomon graduated from Forest Park High School.

He was a member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation and a founder of the Downtown B'nai B'rith.

One of Mr. Solomon's great passions was working on the restoration of a 1949 green two-door Hudson coupe that appeared in "Avalon" and "Cry-Baby," two movies filmed in Baltimore.

"The car made more money than he did," said his wife of 41 years, the former Bernice Maisel, laughing.

Services were held yesterday.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Glenn D. Solomon of Columbia and Alan M. Solomon of North Potomac; a daughter, Stephanie G. Nislow of Owings Mills; and six grandchildren.

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