Samuel Winik, 75, philanthropist, ran parking company

January 17, 2000|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Samuel Winik, retired president and co-founder of Haar-Win Parking Co. who was active in numerous philanthropic causes, died Thursday of pneumonia at Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown. He was 75 and lived in Pikesville.

Mr. Winik established the business in 1946 with his brother-in-law Al Haar after the two returning World War II veterans pooled their funds and purchased their first parking lot on President Street.

"Sam was aggressive and a go-getter. He had an outgoing personality and liked people," said his wife of 17 years, the former Debbie Rothman.

"Al was more the numbers and inside man. They had a unique and honest relationship that was very successful," she said.

When they sold the business in 1968 to Allright Auto Park Inc. of Houston, Texas, it had expanded to 35 off-street parking facilities citywide. In the early 1950s, Haar-Win built a garage in the 1200 block of N. Charles St., and later operated and owned Mid-City Garage, and parking facilities at Hanover and Redwood streets, East Centre Street, and at the old Friendship Airport, now Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

In 1960, he tangled with traffic and transit czar Henry A. Barnes, who accused Mr. Winik of trying to force him to establish parking and traffic regulations favorable to garage owners.

"Mr. Barnes dons the cloak of a Robin Hood for the public, saying that at parking meters the motorists pay only 5 cents for one half-hour and 10 cents for an hour parking. I would like to remind the public that prior to Mr. Barnes, the curb spaces were free," he told The Evening Sun in an interview.

During the late 1970s, he was associated with Allan Quille, Baltimore parking lot executive and owner of Quille-Crown Parking Co. Inc.

After retiring from the business, Mr. Winik, in his 50s, told The Sun in an interview, "I peaked too early in life."

He turned to philanthropic interests and took to them the same enthusiasm that he had taken to his business life.

He was an active member and fund-raiser for numerous organizations, including the Exchange Club of Baltimore, Advertising and Professional Club of Baltimore, Easterwood Boys Club, Easter Seals and the Golden Eagle Square and Compass Club.

He was a member of the Maryland Free State Post No. 167 Jewish War Veterans and served on the 25-member commission that oversaw construction of the state's World War II memorial near Annapolis that was dedicated in 1998.

After a heart attack in 1989, Mr. Winik became a vigorous supporter of the Save-A-Heart Foundation.

"He was one of the most charitable individuals in Baltimore. He felt he never could do enough and always delivered," said Clarisse Mechanic, Baltimore theater owner and Advertising Club colleague.

"He really cared about people. I can't say enough about him. We've really lost a great person," she said.

Sidney Hyatt, a retired Baltimore City Police Department major who got to know Mr. Winik because of a mutual interest in traffic safety, said, "He had a great capacity for friendship and his friendships ranged from the very important to the little-known. Everyone who met him grew to love him."

Mr. Winik's hobby was photographing family and friends from a camera he carried in his pocket, and sending finished prints to them the next day.

He was a member of the Liberty Jewish Center, Yedz Grotto and Centre Lodge No. 108 A. F. & A. M.

Services were held Friday.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Steven Winik of Pikesville and Jay Winik of Delaware; a daughter, Marsha Himes of Reisterstown; a brother, David Winik of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; a sister, Selma Haar of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and two grandchildren.

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