Peggy Albert of Little People's fund

August 21, 1993|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Staff Writer

Margaret "Peggy" Albert, the executive director of the Little People's Research Fund (LPRF), died Monday at her Towson home of pneumonia.

Plagued by a severe heart condition since her teen years, the 36-year-old Hopkins Road resident suffered a stroke on Aug. 11 that led to pneumonia.

She had guided the LPRF since its inception in 1981, the same year she graduated from Loyola College.

"She was hired when the LPRF didn't have any money to pay her . . . but she had perseverance," said David Dugoff, secretary of the LPRF. "She could get things when we had nothing -- a desk, a typewriter, a phone."

The LPRF was incorporated in 1980 to assist Dr. Steven Kopits, director of the International Center for Skeletal Displasia at St. Joseph Hospital, in researching and writing editorial material about the proper treatment of dwarfism.

"Many doctors treat the condition without having seen it before," Dugoff said, "and there are over 50 different types of dwarfism that have orthopedic complications."

It was Ms. Albert who took the LPRF "from nothing" to a charity with its own small endowment and several thousand regular contributors, according to Mr. Dugoff.

Ms. Albert was membership chairman of the National Voluntary Health Agencies of the Combined Federal Campaign.

The Baltimore native also arranged fund-raisers at places like the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center. The Merchants Association of Parkville took LPRF "under its wing" through the efforts of Ms. Albert.

She also coordinated the activities of the Sister Pierre House -- where families stayed while Dr. Kopits performed surgery on their children.

Described as the "little barracuda" because of her determined efforts on behalf of LPRF, Ms. Albert received perhaps the

ultimate praise when Mr. Dugoff said of her, "We were a small charity among many. We have survived because of Peggy. She was a real contributor to the community who gave a lot more than she got back."

A Mass was to be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, 6432 York Road in Rodgers Forge.

Ms. Albert is survived by her mother, Julia Elizabeth Albert of Baltimore and numerous cousins. Dr. Kopits of Baltimore and Mary Alice Johnston of Atlanta are devoted friends.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Little People's Research Fund, 80 Sister Pierre Drive, Towson 21204.

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