Genevieve Nyborg, 84, art-supply shop owner and theater treasurer

September 07, 2002|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Genevieve M. Nyborg, who owned an art supply store and was treasurer of a community theater, died of cancer Tuesday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. She was 84 and lived in Guilford.

The former owner and president of Nyborg's Artist and Engineering Supplies at Charles and Hamilton streets in downtown Baltimore, she was also the treasurer of The Spotlighters, a St. Paul Street theater, for 38 years.

Born Genevieve Morris in Baltimore and raised in Canton, she was a 1935 graduate of Eastern High School. She studied accounting at Strayer, Bryant & Stratton Business College and voice at the Peabody Conservatory.

In 1942, she married Carl E. Nyborg, an artist who worked for the State Roads Administration. He founded an art-supply store in his Hamilton home, which she helped administer. The business expanded to several downtown locations. After her husband's death in 1964, she took over the business. She worked at the store five days a week until she retired and closed the store six years ago.

"She was delightful. We grew up together," said Baltimore artist Anne Didusch Schuler. "She was a beautiful person. She ran a wonderful store."

For the past 33 years, she had lived with her sister, Audrey Herman, the Spotlighters founder who died in 1999. The sisters were regulars at Spotlighters openings, as well as the Baltimore Opera and the Morris Mechanic Theatre.

"She dressed glamorously in evening gowns, and her titian-red hair was piled on high," said her daughter, Corinne Bennett of Cambridge. "She was an elegant and classy lady."

Friends recalled how she and her sister regularly threw opening-night parties at their Charlcote Place home. Mrs. Nyborg served her signature dish, Swedish meatballs, which she said contained an unusual ingredient - sweet jelly.

"She had a great presence in local theater," said Clarisse B. Mechanic, owner of the Charles Center theater and a friend of Mrs. Nyborg's. "She and her sister were as close as you can get. The two of them brought a lot of pleasure and entertainment to Baltimoreans."

"She was a proverbial iron butterfly," said Todd Pearthree, a local theater director. "If Audrey needed help, she was always there. She was one smart businesswoman. She had a warmth and graciousness, a calmness. When things got frantic, she would say: `Let's do A, B. and C.'"

"She was a tremendous support in the theater community," said Beverly Sokal, president of the Fells Point Corner Theatre board.

"She was the kind of person everybody turned to. I just enjoyed her spirit, her delightful positiveness - she loved the theatre community. When her sister died, we really turned to her. She had a brave spirit," she said.

A member of Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mrs. Nyborg was also a member of the VASA Swedish Club of America.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Leonard J. Ruck Funeral Home, 5305 Harford Road.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Carl Eric Nyborg of Baltimore and five grandchildren.

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