Dorothy Shipley Granger, 99, public relations aide for Bureau of Sanitation

December 17, 1998|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Dorothy Shipley Granger, former public relations director of -- Baltimore's Bureau of Sanitation, civic activist and editor of "The Shipleys of Maryland," died Sunday of heart failure at Stella Maris Hospice at Mercy Medical Center. She was 99 and a longtime Bolton Hill resident.

Mrs. Granger was making preparations for her 100th birthday celebration next month.

"She would have turned 100 on Jan. 19," said former Democratic state Sen. Julian L. Lapides, a friend of many years and personal representative.

Appointed to the sanitation department post in 1950 by Mayor Thomas J. D'Alesandro Jr., Mrs. Granger was responsible for the preparation and distribution of information relating to laws and regulations governing sanitation, housing and related subjects, the operations of the Bureau of Sanitation and fostering a relationship between the department and neighborhood associations.

Known for her colorful and flamboyant millinery, Mrs. Granger was a presence to be reckoned with as she waged her campaign for a cleaner Baltimore.

Mrs. Granger organized the first "Litterbug" campaign in Maryland and established a successful program of Clean-Up Charlie Clubs in city schools.

She also persuaded the city to adopt its green pickup trucks and to outfit sanitation workers in well-designed suits, as a "symbol of pride in their work and their value to the city," she wrote in an unpublished monograph at the time of her 90th birthday.

In it, she stated the motivating philosophy of her life: "Use what you have for the benefit of other people. The best results come from working together."

She also produced and moderated an award-winning weekly radio program on civic matters that aired on WITH-AM during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

"She was very meticulous and always wore a hat and gloves. She was quite a character and wasn't about to compromise her standards," said Marie Whittie, a Bolton Hill artist and neighbor. "She lived a full life and was alert to the end," she said.

"She really was most gracious and incredibly fine. She really was a Rose Kennedy-type," said Mr. Lapides, who described her as a "beautiful person both inwardly and outwardly."

The former Dorothy Shipley was a descendant of Adam Shipley, a Yorkshireman who settled near Annapolis in 1688. She was born and reared at Adam's Garden, her father's homestead between Eldersburg and Sykesville. The 1,212-acre estate, which dated to 1754, has been a part of Springfield State Hospital since 1920.

She was a graduate of St. Joseph's Academy in McSherrystown, Pa., and attended Cornell University, the University of Miami at -- Coral Gables and the New York School of Interior Design.

While at Cornell, she met and, in 1920, married Harry R. Granger, a mechanical engineer, who died in 1977.

As secretary and later treasurer of the Shipley Clan organization, she began urging in the early 1930s that a Shipley family genealogy be compiled and led the research effort.

The 800-page volume, "The Shipleys of Maryland," whose motto is "Not Content to be Idle," was published in 1968. At the time of her death, she was working on a supplement to the volume.

Mrs. Granger's other interests included working for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. She belonged to many organizations, including the Mount Royal Democratic Club, the Women's Association of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Mount Royal Improvement Association, the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore Civic Opera and the Maryland Historical Society.

She was a communicant of Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, Lafayette and Mount Royal avenues, where a funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

There are no close survivors.

Pub Date: 12/16/98

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