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Richard F. Ober, lawyer

He had been an insurance company executive

By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

5:00 PM EDT, May 5, 2013

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Richard F. Ober, a retired lawyer and insurance company executive who enjoyed sailing the Chesapeake Bay, died April 13 from vascular disease at the Blakehurst retirement community in Towson. He was 98.

The son of a lawyer and a homemaker, Richard Francis Ober was born in Baltimore and raised on St. George's Road in Roland Park.

After graduating from Gilman School in 1933, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1937 from Princeton University and his law degree in 1939 from Harvard Law School.

Mr. Ober served 41/2 years in the Army Air Force during World War II, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. He remained active in the Army Reserves until 1975 when he was discharged with the rank of colonel.

After being admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1940, Mr. Ober clerked for U.S. District Judge William C. Coleman. He began his legal career after the end of World War II when he went to work for Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.

In 1967, Mr. Ober was named general counsel of Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Maryland, where he was also senior vice president and secretary.

After he retired in 1980, Mr. Ober maintained a limited private practice as primarily a consultant on insurance company mergers and reorganizations.

He also served as a member of blue-ribbon commissions on major revisions of the state corporation law in 1967 and 1978.

Mr. Ober had been a corporator of the former Savings Bank of Baltimore and had been a director of the Maryland Insurance Guaranty Fund.

He was a member of the American, Maryland and Baltimore City Bar Associations, and had chaired committees of the American Insurance Association and the Maryland State Chamber of Commerce.

His civic work included various leadership positions in United Way of Maryland campaigns and in the Boy Scouts, where he had been a member of the executive council of the Baltimore Area Council.

A Roland Park resident, he had been an officer and director of the North Roland Park Improvement Association.

Mr. Ober, who had moved to Blakehurst in the early 1990s, had been an avid sailor, hunter and fisherman. He also like canoeing and gardening.

For years, he enjoyed vacationing at a family lodge in Algonquin Park, Ontario, and later at a cottage in Oxford, Talbot County.

A winner of numerous racing trophies, he was a member of the Tred Avon Yacht Club, Potapskut Sailing Association and Windjammers of the Chesapeake, where he had been commodore.

Mr. Ober had been a member of the old Merchants Club and was a member of the L'Hirondelle Club, Center Club and the Bachelor's Cotillion.

His wife of 69 years, the former Caroline Fischer Gary, who had been the first athletic director of St. Paul's School for Girls, died in 2011.

Mr. Ober was a longtime active communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. June 8.

Surviving are three sons, Douglas G. Ober of Towson, Charles M. Ober of Baltimore and Richard F. Ober Jr. of Princeton, N.J.; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com