Softball was his passion, but law was his life.
Cal Steinmetz, 62, a loved and local attorney has passed away, about two years after being diagnosed with brain cancer, which has now claimed his life.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1952, Steinmetz started his legal career in Washington, D.C., as an openly gay attorney advertising weekly with a business card advertisement in the Washington Blade. He had gotten his Doctor of Laws degrees with honors from George Washington University in 1977, following his BA with distinction from the University of Rochester in 1974. He was an AV Rated attorney by Martindale Hubbell; the highest distinction lawyers can receive.
Admitted to numerous federal and state courts, including the United States Supreme Court, Steinmetz relocated to South Florida and focused his law practice on serving the LGBT community with civil litigation and minor criminal matters. He became very active with the Gay and Lesbian Lawyer’s Network. A memorial service is being planned for him this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Pride Center.
Survived by his partner, Brian Boyle, tributes from the past three decades have populated Cal’s Facebook page this past weekend. They praise him as a courageous lawyer, great friend, and wonderful teammate, who played softball passionately, underwriting and sponsoring teams and participating on the field with never ending zeal, enthusiasm, and energy.
Cal loved the sport of softball, whether he was on the field near his old home in Arlington, Virginia, or at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale, sponsoring the ‘South Florida Metz.’ The team was a play on words. He loved the New York Mets, and on more than one occasion, if I am allowed a personal moment, tried to wrestle my own 1973 New York Mets World Series ring off my finger.
Cal, who in his 50’s competed in the Smart Ride for AIDS from Miami to Key West, also played in an array of gay softball tournaments, from the Gay Olympics in New York in 1994 to the Gay World Series in Phoenix in 2007. In the year 2000, while playing in an Atlanta tournament, he found and rescued a tiny kitten from drowning in a storm puddle. Turning the kitten over to friends for adoption, a decade later “Puddles” was still alive, thanks to Cal’s initiative.
He loved his partner Brian, his parrots, Mingo and Vanna, and his dog, Rita. Friends used to call him a “Jewish Leprechaun.” In Arlington, Virginia, he would host a ‘Christmas for Jews’ party that became the talk of the town. He would continue the tradition with his partner Brian Boyle, here in Wilton Manors.
“He was the kindest, gentlest, most good natured and patient person I've ever met,” said long-time friend Gigi Sohn.
“Cal was a mentor to me,” said Victor Flores, a friend and local businessman. Added attorney George Castrataro, a colleague and friend, “We lost a great soul this weekend. We love you, Cal.”
Stated Miriam Richter, who shared law office space with Cal in the Manors, “Cal was the epitome of a good guy. He was always there when anyone needed a hand and even coached me for an important hearing in State court that I won easily because of his help. He never admitted that cancer was going to defeat him and was optimistic to the end. He was always fun to be around. I will greatly miss his tenderness and caring and especially his friendship.”
Cal was a compassionate man, who touched the lives of many and influenced even more over four decades, in communities from Virginia and the District of Columbia to South Florida.
He ran his law practice with a quiet and simple dignity, moderately pricing his services so the community could reach him and he could reach us.
Cal was the son of the late Arthur and Lillian (Scherman) Steinmetz, survived by his partner of 30 years, Brian Boyle, his devoted sister, Barbara Parker, his nephew Jody Parker and his wife Jordana, and his niece, Mara Smith and her husband Mike.
He asked that donations in his memory be made to your local No Kill Animal Shelter or Rescue League.
Emerald Elite Senior Home Care will present a memorial service for Cal this Sunday at 2 pm at the Pride Center at Equality Park, 2040 North Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors, FL 33305.