Michael Allen Banzhaf, of Newport Beach, Calif., a land-use attorney whose work transformed Loudoun County, Virginia, passed away on Saturday, January 27 at the age of 71.
Born in Lancaster, Pa., Mike attended Mercersburg Academy, and earned an undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and his JD from Villanova University. Over the course of 45-year career, Mike developed a passion for the legal profession and was recognized as a leading practitioner in zoning, environmental and land use law. As a partner with leading global law firm Reed Smith LLP, Mike handled the rezoning for numerous projects in Loudoun County during its period of tremendous growth. His major accomplishments also include the redevelopment of Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia and Newport Beach, California’s Irvine Company development.
Mike’s passion for his work was surpassed only by his love for his family, which always came first. Mike was an avid runner, cyclist, kayaker, and swimmer, and was known for constantly pressing his family to join him for workouts at the gym. Mike was also a motor vehicle enthusiast, and enjoyed 42 cars and 10 motorcycles over his lifetime. With his deep bass voice, he could sing any country western song, but he chose to sing publicly only in the Sunday choir. There was never a day when Mike did not say “ever forward” (which was included in the family coat of arms and became the family mantra) and ever forward it was, regardless of the task.
He is survived by his loving wife, Joanne Schaetzel Banzhaf, his son, Peter Maxwell Banzhaf and his wife, Tanya, and their twins, Oscar and Stella; his sister, Judith Banzhaf Kruse and her husband, Thomas Kruse; his niece, Karla Kruse Donohoe and nephew, Michael Kruse. He is preceded in death by his parents, Max and Mary Louise DePugh Banzhaf.
At Mike’s request, no service will be held.