Emil B. Pielke

Age 66: Lawyer, former Maryland legislator was a delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention.

June 10, 2008|By Brent Jones and Frederick N. Rasmussen | Brent Jones and Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun reporters

Emil B. Pielke, a former state legislator who was to serve as a delegate at this year's Republican National Convention, died of pancreatic cancer Friday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 66.

Mr. Pielke had lived in Towson for two decades and had been active in the Maryland Republican Party since the 1970 legislative session. He took over the seat of Del. James M. Kelly when Mr. Kelly left for a job in the Bush administration in August 2001. Mr. Pielke was appointed to the position in January 2002.

His stint in Annapolis was short-lived - he failed to win a spot on the November ballot - but his wife of more than 30 years said he was well liked by other delegates and enjoyed representing his constituents.

"He loved it," Gini Pielke, a Long & Foster real estate agent, said of her husband's time in office. "That was right up his alley."

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Pielke was raised in Fullerton and graduated in 1960 from Parkville High School.

He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Capitol University in 1964. He spent four years in the Air Force, then graduated from the University of Maryland Law School in 1971. He spent 26 years as an officer in the Maryland Air National Guard.

Mr. Pielke practiced law while working in his family's business, Pielke's Nursery on Belair Road, before focusing solely on his law career in 1982.

He met Gini Chapman in 1972 and married her five years later. He asked for her hand after their first date, his wife said.

"I was a little difficult," she said. "I ran away from people who said they loved me. I didn't want to feel the grief to lose someone. But he waited for me for five years. Then finally I said OK."

The couple had their only child a year after the marriage.

Mr. Pielke was a former chairman of the Legislative Military Officer's Association and a past president of the Overlea Lions Club. He was a gourmet cook, an avid listener of classical music and a Ravens season ticket holder. He jogged at least five miles a day into his 60s, his wife said.

"The running kept him alive. Even after he went through chemo the first time, he ran five miles," Mrs. Pielke said.

In 2004, Mr. Pielke was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in New York City.

"He was one of my best friends and a good Christian man," said Everett C. "Toddy" Maneth, a friend for 60 years.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Central Presbyterian Church, 7308 York Road in Towson, where he had been a longtime member and sang in the choir.

Mr. Pielke is also survived by a daughter, Heather Pielke of Baltimore; and a sister, Diane Ryan of Newport Beach, Calif.

brent.jones@baltsun.com

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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