Paul Scheel Sr., 72, actuary, president of insurance firm


Paul J. Scheel Sr., a retired president and longtime employee of the former Baltimore-based insurance giant United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., died of a heart attack Thursday in his Lutherville home. He was 72.

Mr. Scheel started with USF&G in 1959 in the actuarial department after graduating from Loyola College in Maryland with a degree in mathematics. In May 1971, he was named associate actuary and, six months later, was named vice president.

He was elected the company's president and chief operating officer in 1982.

"If you were to ask anyone who worked at the company then, they would tell you that he managed and treated people with the highest degree of integrity," said Mr. Scheel's daughter, Mary Claire Schmidt of Lewis Center, Ohio.

Mr. Scheel left USF&G in 1990 during a time of high turnover in the company's highest ranks. Eight years later, it was sold to Minnesota-based St. Paul Cos. for $3.5 billion and hundreds of Baltimore jobs were eliminated.

After leaving the insurance industry, Mr. Scheel volunteered at Loyola for more than two decades, including as an assistant to the Rev. Joseph A. Sellinger, who was president during a critical time in the college's history. He also served on the college's board of trustees.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. Scheel graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School in 1951. From 1953 to 1955, he served in the Army. His family said he was stationed in Germany for much of that time.

He returned to the United States and, in 1957, married Beverly Mitchell.

A Loyola administrator said Mr. Scheel was a behind-the-scenes adviser who helped make crucial financial decisions during the 1970s and 1980s, a time when the college was expanding both its campus and its enrollment.

"He was not the type of person who claimed credit," said Michael Goff, who has worked at the college since 1979 and serves as vice president for development and college relations. "He was just unstinting in his contributions to Loyola - the managerial and financial expertise he brought."

He also served on the board of directors for Mount St. Joseph High School.

Mr. Scheel was a fellow in the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. today in the Church of the Nativity in Timonium.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Scheel is survived by a son, Paul J. Scheel Jr. of Ellicott City; a sister, Helen Scheel of Baltimore; a brother, Nivard Scheel of Milwaukee; and four grandchildren.

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