Mildred Meehan, city tour guide, former reporter

February 25, 1994|By Mike Bowler | Mike Bowler,Sun Staff Writer

Mildred Flynn Meehan, for many years Baltimore's official tour guide for visiting dignitaries, died Sunday at Fallston General Hospital of complications from emphysema. She was 69.

As a public relations employee of the city Department of Housing rTC and Community Development, Ms. Meehan was called upon to shepherd visitors around the city, pointing out monuments, examples of urban renewal and civic oddities.

A trip with Ms. Meehan, often in a city van, was a mixture of business and pleasure. She would cover the Shot Tower, public housing, high-rise construction for the elderly, private rehabilitation in Fells Point, Tyson Street and Seton Hill, and public rehabilitation in such neighborhoods as Washington Hill.

She had her favorite spots, too, such as "the smallest house in Baltimore" on Brexton Street. Her favorite monument was the statue of Latrobe on lower Broadway.

"If there was anyone who knew the minutiae, the arcane, the everything of Baltimore, it was Millie," said John McCauley, former deputy commissioner of the housing department. He said it was not unusual for her to be called at the last minute for tours on Sundays and holidays.

She was born Mildred Flynn in Cumberland, the oldest of six children. She attended parochial schools there, graduating from the Ursuline Academy in 1942. She attended Dumbarton College in Washington, then returned to Cumberland as a reporter for the Cumberland Times and later for radio station WCUM.

"She was my first friend when she came here to work for the Times," said Mary Louise Young of Cumberland. "I was working for the News. They wouldn't let [women] cover the police beat. We covered the post office and the draft board."

Ms. Meehan moved to Baltimore in 1952 and took a job as a reporter for WCBM radio. She also was a dental hygienist before going to work for the city in 1957. She retired in 1990. She was married for a year in the mid-1950s to George Meehan.

An ardent traveler, storyteller and expert cook, Ms. Meehan could keep friends entertained for hours with tales of her trips on the Orient Express or visits to Ireland.

She contributed several articles to The Evening Sun's Other Voices page about growing up in Cumberland, the B&O Railroad and Baltimore monuments. She lived in several locations in the city, most recently in Wyman House, one of the high-rise developments for the elderly that once was a stop on her tour.

A Mass of Christian burial was planned for 2 p.m. tomorrow at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, Mount Royal and Lafayette avenues, Baltimore.

She is survived by her son, Michael Meehan of Joppa; two brothers, Michael Flynn and George Flynn, both of Cumberland; two sisters, Mary McKenzie and Margaret McKenzie, both of Cumberland; and a sister-in-law, Gloria Flynn Lischerelli of Goose Creek, S.C.

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