G. Joseph Sills, 69, lawyer and state official G...

September 04, 2000

G. Joseph Sills, 69, lawyer and state official

G. Joseph Sills, a former Fulbright scholar and Maryland workers' compensation commissioner, died Thursday of heart failure at his home in Roland Park. He was 69.

He specialized in workers' compensation cases as a member of the law firm of Lord, Whip, Coughlan and Greene, and was appointed a workers' compensation commissioner by Gov. Harry Hughes in 1979, a job he held until his retirement in 1996.

Born in Lima, Ohio, Mr. Sills came to Baltimore in 1941 when his father became supervisor of the Greyhound bus terminal.

He graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School in 1948 and Loyola College in 1952, when he became Loyola's first Fulbright scholar. While on the Fulbright, he studied English at the University of Leeds in England.

After entering Georgetown University Foreign Service School, he served a stint in the Army, then returned to Maryland to earn a law degree at University of Maryland in 1960.

A man of many hobbies, Mr. Sills was a member of two Scottish bands, the Baltimore City Pipe Band and the Na Finna Pipe Band. He spoke regularly around Baltimore about Sherlock Holmes mysteries as a member of the Scion Society of the Baker Street Irregulars and wrote about the Battle of the Little Big Horn as a member of the Little Big Horn Association. He also belonged to the English Western Society, a group interested in the American West.

He was a member of the Trial Lawyers Association, Ducks Unlimited, and the United Empire Loyalists, a group of descendants of loyalists during the Revolutionary War. He served as president of the parish council at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, president of the Roland Park Little League and president of the Fifth District Reform Democrats, a political group in the mid-1960s.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, Mount Royal and Lafayette avenues.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Virginia Brandon Sills of Baltimore; two sons, David C. Sills of Towson and John B. Sills of Baltimore; a grandson; and a granddaughter.

Michael Conover, 46, emergency room nurse

Michael Conover, an emergency room nurse for 18 years, died Thursday of cardiac arrest at his home in Pikesville. He was 46.

Born in Catonsville, Mr. Conover was introduced to nursing at 14, when he started working with elderly people at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Catonsville.

He graduated from Catonsville High School in 1972 and attended University of Maryland, where he graduated from the school of nursing.

In 1976, he started working on a medical hall at St. Agnes Hospital. He later moved to the intensive care unit.

"He was the best nurse I've ever seen," said his sister, Mary Kay Walker of Parkton, who is also a nurse. "He knew how to take care of a patient with dignity, compassion and respect. He was very intelligent and was an old-fashioned nurse."

Mr. Conover enjoyed fishing and visiting the ocean.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at Saint Joseph's Monastery Chapel on Frederick Road in Irvington.

In addition to his sister, he is survived by his mother and father, Mary and George Conover of Catonsville; three brothers, Martin Conover of Ellicott City, Max Conover of Sparks and Mitchell Conover of Midlothian, Va.; and four nephews and four nieces.(More obituaries, next page.)

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