Mary Minnigerode, Bolton Hill Realtor

March 25, 1993|By Staff Report

Mary Rawlings Busey Minnigerode Kelly, a Baltimore real estate broker for more than 60 years, who with legendary charm and wit attracted generations of homebuyers to her Bolton Hill neighborhood, died March 10 of pneumonia at the Meridian-Long Green Nursing Center on Melrose Avenue.

She would have been 95 on April 6.

Mrs. Kelly retired from her real estate business about two years ago. The name by which she was always known professionally was Mary Minnigerode, from her first marriage.

The former Mary Rawlings Busey was a native Marylander. She grew up as a third-generation resident of her family's Pikesville .. farm, Dumbarton, whose large white house still stands as part of the Dumbarton suburb north of Old Court Road.

She graduated from the Bryn Mawr School in 1917, and when she was 19, married Jack Minnigerode, died while she was still a young woman. In the early 1930s, she married Andrew Park Kelly, who died in 1964.

Her first business venture was a flower shop on Charles Street downtown, which she operated with a close friend.

Then, for about 20 years, she sold real estate in Baltimore as an associate of Albert Strobel.

In 1949, she moved from her home on West Monument Street in the Mount Vernon area to the 1500 block of Bolton St., buying a house next door to that of her sister. It remained her home for the rest of her life, and from it she operated her business as an independent broker.

Her long, successful career and her ethical standards were praised in a special award from the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, and in 1976, she was honored with a plaque presented by the Mount Royal Improvement Association.

Its testimonial sums up her reputation: "Over the years, Mrs. Andrew Park Kelly, known professionally as Mary Minnigerode, has lived in Bolton Hill, matching landlords with tenants and prospective homeowners with houses. Her flair, wit and spirit of independence have helped sell the idea of city living. Mrs. Kelly's support of resident property owners and her personal presence in Bolton Hill have added to the unique quality of the neighborhood."

One of the old business traditions to which she adhered was enjoying a glass of sherry with new home buyers.

Mrs. Kelly, a generous benefactor of beautification projects of the North Bolton Hill Association, was for many years a member of the Mount Royal Garden Club and the Flag House Association.

She is survived by a niece, Barbara B. Cushing of Bolton Hill.

Services were private. Mrs. Kelly was buried in her family's plot in Druid Ridge Cemetery, near her girlhood home.

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