Mary Ruan Taylor, 75, headed Hopkins adult day care center

April 29, 2002|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Mary Ruan Taylor, a retired social worker who was the first head of the Beacham Adult Day Care Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, died Thursday of esophageal cancer at her home in Hamilton. She was 75.

Mrs. Taylor was born Mary Ruan Smith in Baltimore and was raised in Howard Park. After graduating in 1944 from Mount St. Agnes High School in Mount Washington, she earned her bachelor's degree in 1948 from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pa. She also took graduate courses in social work at Catholic University of America in Washington.

During summers in the late 1940s, she interned for Associated Catholic Charities' Foster Care Division in Baltimore, and after graduating from college, went to work as a caseworker for the Eastern District of the Family and Children's Society.

In 1951, she married William C. Taylor Sr., and became a homemaker raising her seven children. Her husband died in 1997.

After her children were grown, she returned to school, earning a master's degree in guidance and counseling from the Johns Hopkins University in 1978.

In 1979, she became a social worker at the Mason Lord Building of the old Baltimore City Hospital, which is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

"She worked to provide a broad range of social work services to patients and family members in a chronic rehabilitative and comprehensive long-term care setting," said her daughter Katherine M. Hartig of Parkton.

"During this period, she enabled many to reach a comfortable level of independence and others to enjoy a better life," she said.

In 1984, Mrs. Taylor was named the first director of Beacham Adult Day Care Center at Bayview. The center offered weekday transportation, activities and services to those who could not be left alone at home. She retired in 1997.

"Mary considered the best compliment to have come from Dr. Edmund Beacham, retired medical director of the Mason F. Lord Chronic Hospital and Nursing Facility, when he said, `You social workers are so pushy,'" said Mrs. Hartig. "She was proud of that and included it in her resume."

Mrs. Taylor enjoyed writing, traveling, gardening, reading and sewing.

She was a member of the Harbel Senior Committee and the local AARP chapter.

"Throughout her illness, she maintained a courteous, professional manner, as though still managing care for the elderly or infirm at her day care center," said her daughter.

Mrs. Taylor was a communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, Harford Road and Pelham Avenue, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today.

Survivors include three sons, William C. Taylor Jr. of Shrewsbury, Pa., and John G. Taylor and Timothy J. Taylor, both of Baltimore; three other daughters, Nancy C. Strasser of Pulaski, Va., Jean C. Bacigalupa of Fallston and Margaret I. Oldham of Chester; a brother, Eugene P. Smith of Homeland; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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