Strouse, philanthropic leader, 88

B. E.

February 01, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Beatrice E. Strouse, former president of the Baltimore Section of the National Council of Jewish Women and founder of Meals On Wheels of Central Maryland, died Tuesday of respiratory failure at the North Oaks Retirement Community. She was 88.

Mrs. Strouse credited the example of her father, Jacob Engel, a Hopkins Place wholesale jeweler, for her philanthropic efforts.

Mr. Engel was a founder of the old Hebrew Hospital and Asylum, which later became Sinai Hospital, and a trustee of the Associated Jewish Charities.

The former Beatrice Engel was born and raised on Eutaw Place. In 1925, she graduated from Park School, then studied at Goucher College.

It was about that time that her philanthropy began with the establishment of Camp Park Hill, a children's day camp at Park Heights Avenue and Northern Parkway.

In the 1930s, she helped establish the Toyery through the Jewish Education Alliance in East Baltimore. Similar to a lending library, the Toyery lent toys to immigrant and underprivileged children.

Starting in the late 1930s and continuing through World War II, Mrs. Strouse served on the Foreign Born Committee of the Baltimore Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, aiding Holocaust victims who escaped Europe and settled in Baltimore.

"The committee helped immigrant families find living situations and employment on their arrival in this country," said her daughter, Joan S. Sandler of Mount Washington.

Mrs. Strouse, a former resident of Mount Washington and the Village of Cross Keys, also served with the Red Cross Motor Corps during World War II.

In 1960, she and 50 other volunteers started Meals On Wheels in a kitchen at the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital.

She remained active in various civic and philanthropic organizations until her health began to fail seven years ago.

She liked fishing, photography and golf. She was a member of the Suburban Club. She also was a member of Temple Oheb Shalom.

Her daughter, Mrs. Sandler, recalled that her mother "used to conduct Sunday afternoon record concerts in her Rogers Avenue home, and friends say that many of the alumni of those gatherings are prominent today in Baltimore's business, professional and civic life."

Mrs. Strouse's 1928 marriage to Harold Katzenstein ended in divorce. In 1935, she married Samuel S. Strouse, who died in 1982.

Services were to be held at 2 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Inc., 6010 Reisterstown Road.

Other survivors include three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Meals On Wheels of Central Maryland Inc., 515 S. Haven St., Baltimore 21224.

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