Michael J. ‘Abro’ Abromaitis, partner at Baltimore law firm who collected medieval weaponry, dies

Michael J. “Abro” Abromaitis, a partner at the Baltimore law firm Wright, Constable & Skeen LLP who collected medieval arms and armaments, died of a heart attack Tuesday at his Anneslie home. He was 83.

“Mike was a great lawyer and was very intelligent,” said James W. Constable, a partner at Wright, Constable & Skeen LLP.

“He was a client-oriented lawyer who was versatile and always thought about the client and not the cash register,” he said. “He was also so well-read and a real historian.”

Michael A. Stanley, a managing partner at the firm, worked closely with Mr. Abromaitis, who retired earlier this year, for more than two decades.

“He had a way about him that always made your day brighter. He had such knowledge and a great sense of humor and was just a joy to work with,” Mr. Stanley said. “He was a true Renaissance man and no one ever had a bad thing to say about Abro.”

Michael Joseph Abromaitis, son of Joseph Vincent Abromaitis, a Baltimore Sun commercial artist who later taught art at Notre Dame Preparatory School, and Virginia Evans Maltby Abromaitis, a milliner, was born in Baltimore and raised on Park Avenue in Reservoir Hill.

He attended elementary school at the old Corpus Christi parochial school and graduated in 1958 from Loyola Blakefield.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1962 from what is now Loyola University Maryland, where he played varsity lacrosse and was a member of ROTC.

Mr. Abromaitis served in Korea from 1962 to 1964 as an Airborne Army Ranger, and after being honorably discharged, obtained his law degree in 1967 from what is today the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and also a master’s degree in taxation in 1971 from the Georgetown University Law Center.

He worked for more than half-a-century at Wright, Constable & Skeen LLP, where he practiced corporate, business and nonprofit law.

“Mike was a man of opinions, which he was very willing to share and often laughed in laughter,” Mr. Constable recalled.

“Abro taught one of the greatest lessons a young lawyer could ever learn. It wasn’t some nuanced concept but how to manage relationships with your clients,” Mr. Stanley said.

“He said, ‘We’re all human and we make mistakes and if you made one, own it, and tell the client you messed up and how you’re going to fix it. Be honest and it’s the right thing to do morally and clients appreciate that.’”

“He was the best man I ever knew,” said his wife of 59 years, the former Carol “Sue” Nevin, who met her future husband at an Oregon Ridge quarry swimming hole.

“We met on July 22, 1958, and a friend had introduced us. He had just graduated from Loyola High School,” Mrs. Abromaitis, who retired in 2020 from Loyola University Maryland, where she had been a longtime English professor, said. “I was a year-and-a-half older than Mike and when I told my mother that, she said, ‘You’re robbing the cradle.’”

A lifelong sports fan, Mr. Abromaitis was a familiar figure in the stands of John Carroll School, Mount des Sales Academy, Notre Dame Preparatory School and other schools where he could be seen cheering on his nephews and nephews who played a variety of sports.

Mr. Abromaitis remained a passionate supporter of Loyola Blakefield and Loyola University sports, especially the lacrosse and basketball teams, and occasionally provided color commentary for lacrosse broadcasts that aired on Baltimore area radio and ESPN3.

Loyola University lacrosse coach Charley Toomey recalled when Loyola was playing Duke in San Diego and Mr. Abromaitis became excited.

“We scored a goal and he jumped up and his head went through the drop ceiling,” Coach Toomey said, with a laugh. “He was very supportive of our program and rallied the troops to get us where we are. He knew all of our players and alums.”

Chris Gunkel would sometimes share the broadcast booth with Mr. Abromaitis.

“As a broadcaster, Mike took it very seriously and he always did a lot of prep work and homework,” Mr. Gunkel said. “He was so pro-Loyola I had to help him tone it down and be more in the middle. He just loved Loyola lacrosse.”

During the 2012 season, Mr. Abromaitis provided commentary when the Greyhounds won the NCAA championship that year.

He was a member of the board of Loyola Blakefield, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Opera Co.

An avid traveler, Mr. Abromaitis made more than 50 trips to London and Rome. In India, he enjoyed the country’s art, architecture and cricket.

He was a lifelong student of Roman and Greek art, architecture and the classics. He was also an avid collector of medieval arms and armaments, specifically armor piercing katars, which were push daggers from South India.

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“He was passionate about learning and his thirst for knowledge went beyond the law and being a lawyer wasn’t his identity. He was bigger than that,” Mr. Stanley said.

Mr. Abromaitis also enjoyed waterfowl and big game hunting, where he pursued alligators, black bears and wild boars.

He was a member of the Maryland Club, Country Club of Maryland and the Manhattan Society.

“He took notoriously long three hour lunches and probably had a cocktail or two,” Mr. Stanley said, laughing. “He’d come back to the office in the afternoon and then made what I called rounds. He’d circle the office and would pop into the office and would tell stories about art, history or lacrosse for 20 minutes. He was brilliant and his conversation was engaging.”

“All Mike cared about was lunch, so much so, we called him ‘Sir Lunchalot,’” Mr. Gunkel said.

Mr. Abromaitis, who was a knight in the Papal Order of the Holy Sepulcher, was also a communicant for more than 50 years of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles Street, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 am Tuesday.

In addition to his wife, he survived by a brother, Joseph Charles Abromaitis of Bel Air; a nephew, Mark K. Abromaitis of Bel Air; a niece, Anne Abromaitis Bailey of Jacksonville, Baltimore County; and five great nephews and nephews.

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