Wil­liam Sin­gle III

For­mer Mary­land as­sis­tant at­tor­ney gen­eral served as ad­viser to Johns Hop­kins-af­fil­i­ated health care non­profit

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Fred­er­ick N. Ras­mussen fras­mussen@balt­sun.com

Wil­liam Sin­gle III, a Bal­ti­more lawyer and spe­cial pol­icy ad­viser for an in­ter­na­tional health care or­ga­ni­za­tion, died Wed­nes­day of leukemia at his Rosedale home. He was 80.

“Bill had a bound­less in­ter­est in things that he wanted to ben­e­fit from — which made him the eter­nal stu­dent,” said Joseph Judd, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at Jh­piego Corp., a non­profit health care af­fil­i­ate of the Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity. “A con­ver­sa­tion with Bill al­ways made my day. There are five ad­jec­tives to de­scribe him: de­pend­able, hon­est, thought­ful, wise and kind.”

The son of Wil­liam Sin­gle Jr., an at­tor­ney, and Lil­lian Mar­guerite Grif­fin Sin­gle Smith, an Amer­i­can Ex­port Lines sec­re­tary, Wil­liam Sin­gle III was born in Bal­ti­more and raised on El­wood Av­enue in High­land­town.

He grad­u­ated in 1953 from City Col­lege, where he en­joyed theater and ap­peared in a 1953 pro­duc­tion of Thorn­ton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth.”

As a teenager, he met and fell in love with Glo­ria Ann Pin­dell, and the two later mar­ried.

He earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in 1957 in po­lit­i­cal science from Johns Hop­kins, grad­u­at­ing sec­ond in his depart­ment.

He was a mem­ber of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Al­pha na­tional po­lit­i­cal science honor fra­ter­nity and was awarded the Julius Turner Book Prize from Hop­kins for the best se­nior the­sis in po­lit­i­cal science.

A Ful­bright scholar, Mr. Sin­gle stud­ied for a year at the Uni­ver­sity of Manch­ester in Eng­land, pur­su­ing a course of study in its law school and his­tory depart­ment.

He earned a law de­gree from Yale Uni­ver­sity in 1961 and was ad­mit­ted to the Mary­land Bar that year. He be­gan his le­gal ca­reer with Wein­berg and Green and, two years later, joined the le­gal depart­ment of Com­mer­cial Credit Co., which later be­came a core unit of Citi Group.

Mr. Sin­gle’s work fo­cused on com­mer­cial fi­nance, and he trav­eled widely in ne­go­ti­at­ing, draft­ing and clos­ing com­mer­cial loans and leases through­out the coun­try.

Af­ter leav­ing Citi Group, he served as vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral coun­sel of the Johns Hop­kins Health Sys­tem Corp. from 1986 to 1989.

Mr. Sin­gle prac­ticed law with the Bal­ti­more firm of Fran­co­mano and Kar­pook from 1989 to 1997, when he was named an as­sis­tant at­tor­ney gen­eral for Mary­land and worked for the state Depart­ment of Busi­ness and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment.

He was a past chair­man of the Lawyers Com­mit­tee of the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Equip­ment Lessors and a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can and Mary­land bar as­so­ci­a­tions.

“He never wanted to re­tire and kept on work­ing,” said his son, Wil­liam Sin­gle IV of Chevy Chase.

For the last 12 years, Mr. Sin­gle was spe­cial pol­icy ad­viser at Jh­piego Corp., work­ing from its head­quar­ters in Fells Point.

At Jh­piego he was re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing all con­trac­tual work of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, which has a goal to im­prove the lives of women and their fam­i­lies in 155 coun­tries across the world.

“Bill joined us af­ter hav­ing had a very dis­tin­guished le­gal ca­reer. He re­ally wanted to be work­ing in the area of global health,” said Mr. Judd. “He was re­ally the guy who helped us not only do good, but do well. His ex­per­tise made so many con­tri­bu­tions that helped the whole or­ga­ni­za­tions and its of­fices in var­i­ous coun­tries.”

He said Mr. Sin­gle ap­proached work with “wis­dom and thor­ough­ness.”

“He played a ma­jor role in the growth of the or­ga­ni­za­tion,” said Mr. Judd. “He had a very pos­i­tive de­meanor, was a good taskmas­ter, and be­lieved in the pur­pose of our mis­sion. He could tease out is­sues and find so­lu­tions.”

He de­scribed Mr. Sin­gle as “a gentle­man and a teacher who was both mod­est and a role model.” Wil­liam Sin­gle III played a ma­jor role in the growth of Jh­piego Corp., one col­league said.

“If his staff pro­duced some­thing im­por­tant, he made sure the staff mem­ber’s name was on it — not his. He wanted them to have the credit,” he said.

In­ter­ested in theater from his days at City Col­lege, Mr. Sin­gle was a long­time mem­ber and for­mer mem­ber of the Paint and Pow­der Club, which raises money for char­i­ties by stag­ing an an­nual va­ri­ety show.

For more than 30 years, he sang with the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s men’s cho­rus and per­formed in the an­nual show.

Mr. Sin­gle was ac­tive in alumni af­fairs at Johns Hop­kins and served on the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tees of both the na­tional and Bal­ti­more chap­ters of the uni­ver­sity’s alumni as­so­ci­a­tion. He was a mem­ber for 18 years of the Na­tional Alumni Coun­cil.

Mr. Sin­gle was a mem­ber of the Johns Hop­kins Club. He served on its board of gover­nors for 11 years and as pres­i­dent for three years.

He also “just loved Hop­kins lacrosse,” Mr. Judd said.

He was a mem­ber of the An­cient and Hon­or­able Me­chan­i­cal Com­pany of Bal­ti­more, founded in 1763. The group is con­sid­ered the old­est civic or­ga­ni­za­tion in the United States, and has a mis­sion to pro­tect cit­i­zens and prop­erty in Bal­ti­more.

Mr. Sin­gle was a mem­ber of the United Evan­gel­i­cal Church, where he served 16 years on its gov­ern­ing coun­cil. His wife was a choir mem­ber.

He en­joyed fish­ing, and also col­lect­ing beer cans and stamps — es­pe­cially first-day cov­ers.

Fond of steam rail­road­ing, he also had amassed a col­lec­tion of videos de­voted to the sub­ject, his son said.

Funeral ser­vices will be held10 a.m. to­day at his church, 3200 Dil­lon St. in Can­ton.

In ad­di­tion to his son, Mr. Sin­gle is sur­vived by his wife of 59 years; a daugh­ter, Deb­o­rah Sin­gle Hays of Nashville, Tenn.; and four grand­chil­dren.

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