Michael A. Pretl
1942 - 2018
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Michael A. Pretl

Salisbury - Michael A. Pretl, attorney and environmentalist, was born to Mildred S. and Stephen A. Pretl on October 20, 1942 and left this life on December 25, 2018.

Mike was educated at St. Charles Seminary in Catonsville, Catholic University and received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law School.

He was a partner at Smith, Somerville and Case law firm for many years before starting his own firm to fight for women rendered infertile by the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device. He then became General Counsel to the American Urological Association where he remained for 17 years.

During all the years Mike practiced law, he was also active in the community. An early president of the Northeast Community Organization and Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., Mike was involved in the fight to peacefully integrate Northeast Baltimore. During his time at NECO, Life Magazine designated Greater Northwood as one of the best integrated communities in the US. Mike was a longtime board member of the Community Law Center which continues to offer pro bono representation to communities in need of legal representation to fight vacant housing, liquor license violations and urban blight. One of the organizations of which he was most proud was Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse which fought for common sense laws to protect people from unlawful weapons.

When Mike and his wife, Michele Hughes, moved to the Shore, he began helping local groups to achieve their nonprofit status. To date, Mike has received nonprofit designations for more than 100 organizations. One of Mike's most important projects was the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative or Healthcare for All, a group of both local and statewide organizations working to make certain that all Marylanders had access to quality healthcare. He served as the secretary/treasurer and counsel to the board at the time of his death.

Mike came to this community fifteen years ago and immediately became a part of it. He was a past president of many local environmental organizations including the Wicomico Environmental Trust, Lower shore Land Trust, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance and Friends of the Nanticoke. He was particularly concerned about the effects of sprawl on local farmland and represented local people fighting development in agricultural communities pro bono. Mike taught Environmental Law at Salisbury University after his retirement. He loved interaction with energetic young people and spent a great deal of time preparing each class for them.. He was nominated to the Board of the Maryland Environmental Trust by House Speaker Michael Busch. Mike taught classes for the Association of Lifelong Learning at the MAC Center until his death. He was also very passionate about public radio and served on the board of Friends of Delmarva Public Radio.

Mike was a tireless reader and read widely in history and politics. Although he was politically a Progressive, he admired William F. Buckley and the National Review.

In addition to his wife, Michele, Mike is survived by four daughters, Trish Pretl (Luke Freeman), Julia Pretl (Tony Drummond)' Katherine Pretl (Alex Padgett), and Alexandra Hughes, and six grandchildren: Olive, Lily, Emma, Gus, Sam and Ava. Two brothers and one sister survive him. He was predeceased by two sisters.

Mike donated his body to research. A Celebration of his Life will be held on Sunday, January 13, at 2 PM at Dove Pointe. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Mike's name to the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Inc www.nanticokeriver.org or the Wicomico Environmental Trust.


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Published in The Daily Times on Dec. 30, 2018.
Celebration of Life
02:00 PM
Dove Pointe
Memories & Condolences
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January 6, 2019
Mike was a stalwart champion for decency. He was a legal and environmental colleague whom I greatly admired. Years ago we tried law cases together and then both became environmental advocates on the Eastern Shore. He always had that joyful glint in his eye. His generous and passionate spirit was a beacon that will shine on.
Tim Junkin
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