Russell (Russ) Dischinger, age 72, passed away peacefully at his home in Brooksville on Aug. 27, 2021, with his beloved wife, Martha (Marty), and his loving family at his side. Russ was born June 20, 1949, in Baltimore, Md., the son of the Harry Robert Dischinger and Ruth D. Shriver (both deceased).
Russ was raised in Baltimore in Roland Park and was a 1967 graduate of St. Paul’s School for Boys. He attended Jacksonville University and the University of Baltimore.
Russ was a pioneer in the 1970s and ’80s with developing the Federal Hill neighborhood of South Baltimore. As one of the first presidents of the Federal Hill & Fells Point Neighborhood Association, he was instrumental in stopping I-83 from crossing the harbor and carving up the neighborhoods. At that time many of the homes had been boarded up and vacant. As a homesteader, he began renovating and restoring homes while living through construction and encouraged friends and contemporaries to move in. This was a grassroots effort that soon gained the support and admiration of Mayor William Donald Schaefer, who created incentive programs for young families to move and renovate homes. At times, Russ was interviewed on the street about his efforts and was often seen debating local politicians who had other priorities in mind. A strong sense of community evolved, and neighbors pitched in to help rescue the historical city neighborhoods.
The work in Federal Hill and Fells Point led him to create the real estate Brokerage of Altman, Dischinger and Hoffberger in the early ’80s. At that time this company was considered the primary brokerage firm in the historic city area.
Russ spent memorable summers in his youth with his grandparents in West Tremont on Mount Desert Island, falling in love with both the beauty and the people of Maine. He married Marty in 1986 in Northeast Harbor and they relocated from Baltimore after buying a home in Manset. They subsequently relocated to Brooklin, where he served as a selectman and helped develop a process for appraising many community properties fairly and consistently. Throughout his life Russ was a true entrepreneur and created his own firm of Coastal Island Appraisals doing work in all of Hancock County. In 2007, he and his wife moved to “Apple Hill” in Brooksville, a home with acreage, fields and pines overlooking the Bagaduce River.
Russ was a man of respect in his business and personal associations. He was admired in life not for only his achievements and success but more importantly for his kind nature and good humor. He worked hard on all his projects, never complaining about his ongoing health issues, always wanting to complete the job. Russ and his wife enjoyed traveling often to Italy to break up the winter months. He was politically active and liked to discuss his views if so engaged. He had a quick wit and always thought of a pun at a moment’s notice. He liked all that Maine had to offer and enjoyed his boat Sea Biscuit moored at Bucks’ Harbor Yacht Club. When younger and healthier, he hiked the mountain trails of Acadia and swam in the lakes and ponds on Mount Desert He was a quiet man with a wisdom of the world. He will be truly missed by all who knew him.
Russ is survived by his wife, Martha Sheriff Dischinger, and brother, Peter Dischinger, and his wife, Sutton, sister, Lin D. Waters, and husband, Herbert Waters, all of Baltimore.
He leaves three stepchildren, Peter Altman of Bangkok, Thailand, John Altman and wife, Emma Altman, of Brooksville, and Ian Altman of Durango, Colo.; grandchildren Matthew Altman, Mikayla Altman, Tanner Altman, William Altman, Caroline Altman, Lily Patel, Nicholas Laszlo, Izabelle Altman and Rye Altman; sisters-in-law Jane Daniels and Linda Melin; and brother-in-law James Sheriff. He also has many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Burial is private in Mt. Rest Cemetery in Brooksville. A celebration of his life will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 201, Topsham, ME 04086, (207) 729-7366.