Alan D. Yar­bro

For­mer gen­eral coun­sel for Mer­can­tile Bankshares Corp., part­ner at Ven­able LLP was a long­time Rux­ton res­i­dent

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - OBITUARIES - By Fred­er­ick N. Ras­mussen

Alan D. Yar­bro, for­mer gen­eral coun­sel for Mer­can­tile Bankshares Corp., died July 20 from Alzheimer’s dis­ease at Gilchrist Cen­ter in Tow­son. The long­time Rux­ton res­i­dent was 77.

“Alan was a part­ner at Ven­able, Baet­jer and Howard which was our law firm,” said H. Fur­long Bald­win, for­mer long­time CEO of Mer­can­tile Bankshares Corp. who lives in Cross Keys. “We were look­ing for an in-house coun­sel and he came over to work with us. He did won­der­ful work for us. He was pre­cise and ac­cu­rate.

“He was a very de­cent and quiet man who was very ef­fec­tive.”

“He was sim­ply one of the most gifted lawyers in the firm. He was both re­source­ful and bright and a great se­cu­ri­ties lawyer,” said Ge­orge W. Johnston, a for­mer part­ner in what be­came Ven­able LLP, He worked along­side Mr. Yar­bro on the firm’s op­er­at­ing com­mit­tee.

“Alan wore an in­tel­lec­tual hat that was quite unique. He was sought af­ter be­cause he had great wis­dom, coun­sel, and judg­ment,” said Mr. Johnston, a Guil­ford res­i­dent. “He was also a su­perb ath­lete who was both funny and wise.”

Alan David Yar­bro, the son of John Yar­bro, a French pro­fes­sor at the Naval Academy, and his wife, Ber­nice Yar­bro, who taught French at An­napo­lis Ju­nior High, was born in Hunt­ing­ton, West Vir­ginia, and raised in An­napo­lis.

He at­tended An­napo­lis high School un­til the 10th grade when he trans­ferred to the Gil­man School. A tal­ented ath­lete, he played short­stop on An­napo­lis Lit­tle League teams, and con­tin­ued play­ing base­ball and bas­ket­ball.

Frank De­ford, a fel­low Gil­man stu­dent and friend who later be­came a

writer, de­scribed Mr. Yar­bro dur­ing their stu­dent days as the “best ath­lete on our bas­ket­ball team.”

When Mr. De­ford died in 2017, Mr. Yar­bro told “He had so many good things you could talk about. He was a good bas­ket­ball player, but the real Frank De­ford, I guess, had tremen­dous out­looks on the world. He could do just about ev­ery­thing. He was a great writer in many, many ways.”

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Gil­man in 1958, Mr. Yar­bro was scouted by the Detroit Tigers but turned down an of­fer to train with them in or­der to en­roll at Har­vard Col­lege. He pitched for the var­sity base­ball team and was a magna cum laude grad­u­ate in 1962.

Dur­ing his sopho­more year, he met and fell in love with the for­mer Lee Mer­ry­man My­ers, a stu­dent at Pine Manor Col­lege in Welles­ley, Mas­sachusetts, whom he mar­ried his se­nior year.

Wile study­ing at Har­vard Law School, Mr. Yar­bro sup­ported his fam­ily by work­ing in the Har­vard News of­fice and as a bar­tender at the now closed Club Cas­bal­anca, a noted Har­vard Square bar lo­cated in the base­ment of the Brat­tle Theater.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing cum laude in 1966 from Har­vard Law School, he re­turned to Bal­ti­more. When he sat for the Mary­land Bar that year, he fin­ished in the top five.

Mr. Yar­bro joined what was then Ven­able, Baet­jer and Howard in 1966, and was named a part­ner six years later. Between the 1970s and 1990s, he served on the firm’s man­age­ment com­mit­tee, was head of the cor­po­rate fi­nance group and coun­sel to the firm. He also served as coun­sel to most of the city’s ma­jor in­vest­ment firms.

James L. Shea, of Owings Mills, for­mer Ven­able chair­man who had chaired the Univer­sity Sys­tem of Mary­land Board of Re­gents, high­lighted two of Mr. Yar­bro’s deals.

“In 1986, he was the un­der­writer’s coun­sel in the Alex Brown’s of­fer­ing and com­pany coun­sel to Jiffy Lube’s ini­tial public of­fer­ing,” Mr. Shea said. “He also rep­re­sented NCR Corp. in its con­tested takeover bat­tle with AT&T, at the time, the $7.4 bil­lion deal was the largest tech­nol­ogy deal in merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions his­tory.”

It was said that when­ever the leg­endary H. Ver­non Eney, a se­nior Ven­able part­ner and Mary­land con­sti­tu­tional scholar, en­coun­tered a dif­fi­cult le­gal prob­lem, he’d say: “Get Mr. Yar­bro.”

Stan­ley L. Mazaroff was a long­time Ven­able col­league who shared a love of bas­ket­ball with Mr. Yar­bro.

“We were part­ners at Ven­able for around 30 years, said Mr. Mazaroff, who lives in Bolton Hill. “First of all, there is no ques­tion that Alan was one of Ven­able’s most dis­tin­guished lawyers in cor­po­rate law, and some­thing else I ad­mired most about him was that he per­son­i­fied the high­est eth­i­cal stan­dards when it came to the prac­tice of law.”

He added that Mr. Yar­bro men­tored many young lawyers at the firm.

“When we were play­ing bas­ket­ball Alan was fierce in his hon­or­able in­ten­tion to win, and he’d say, ‘We need to win in an hon­or­able way,’ and he ap­plied that to the prac­tice of law. It had to be eth­i­cal, and ev­ery­thing he did was mea­sured,” Mr. Mazaroff said.

In 1996, Mr. Yar­bro left Ven­able when he be­came a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive and gen­eral coun­sel at Mer­can­tile Bankshares Corp. Dur­ing this time, he played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the de­sign and pas­sage of Mary­land’s 1999 takeover law.

Mr. Yar­bro trained his re­place­ment at Mer­can­tile that was even­tu­ally ac­quired by PNC Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Group Inc. in 2006. He re­turned to Ven­able in 2002, where he con­tin­ued work­ing un­til re­tir­ing in 2014.

In his civic work, the for­mer Guil­ford res­i­dent who moved to Rux­ton in 1986, served as pres­i­dent of the W.S. Baer Corp., which is the hold­ing com­pany for Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal. He had served as a trustee of the hos­pi­tal from 1986 to 1999. He was a mem­ber of the board of Bal­ti­more’s Park Heights Street Academy from 1986 to 1989.

He had served on the boards and com­mit­tee of LifeBridge Health, Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal at Si­nai Hos­pi­tal, and was chair of North­west Hos­pi­tal from 2013 to 2014, when he stepped down be­cause of fail­ing health.

Through­out his life, sports con­tin­ued to play a cen­tral role. When he re­turned from Har­vard, he pitched for Spring Grove, a semi-pro­fes­sional base­ball team for a few years.

Years later, he coached the Roland Park Lit­tle League’s Cava­liers with close friends Jim Wright and Har­vey Clapp. The team was “greatly di­verse in ta­lent, from the bot­tom of the league to a thrilling cham­pi­onship win,” his wife wrote in a bi­o­graph­i­cal pro­file of her hus­band.

When liv­ing in Guil­ford, he would walk to the old Memo­rial Sta­dium to take in Ori­oles games.

In re­cent years, as his health failed, Mr. Yar­bro en­joyed tak­ing long walks on Cir­cle Road in Rux­ton with his wife, watch­ing “Doc Martin” on PBS, and Ken Burns and Henry Louis Gates Jr. doc­u­men­taries. He also liked lis­ten­ing to mu­sic.

A cel­e­bra­tion of life ser­vice for Mr. Yar­bro is planned for 11 a.m. Sept. 7 at St. James Epis­co­pal Church, 3100 Monk­ton Road, Monk­ton.

In ad­di­tion to his wife of 57 years, Mr. Yar­bro is sur­vived by three daugh­ters, Jennifer Yar­bro of Rux­ton, Wendy Pon­vert of Po­tomac and Caro­line Yar­bro of Cen­ten­nial, Colorado; and four grand­chil­dren.

Alan Yar­bro had served on var­i­ous boards and com­mit­tees in the com­mu­nity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.