Georgene Ann Brodie, 67, teacher, Crab Line owner

October 26, 2002

Georgene Ann Brodie, a teacher who was an enthusiastic advocate of Baltimore, died Thursday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's disease, at Union Memorial Hospital. She was 67 and lived in the Wyman Park section of North Baltimore.

The former head of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church's day care and nursery school in Bolton Hill, she also founded a Harborplace shop, the Crab Line, which featured items related to the Chesapeake Bay.

Born Georgene Ann Gonzalez in Denver, she was raised in Washington and in Clinton. A graduate of Surrattsville High School, she earned a teaching degree from Towson University in 1957.

She later taught in the Houston public school system while her husband, M. Jay Brodie, president of Baltimore Development Corp., earned a degree in architecture. The couple married in 1958.

"She had a passion for life -- and grew to love Baltimore," her husband said. "She threw herself into things. She gave unconditional love to people. People would come up to her on the streets and just start talking. She was a great listener."

Family members recalled her enthusiasm for the city and her labors at early city fairs staged during the 1970s.

"She was artistic, outgoing, a courageous person, proud of her Hispanic heritage," said her brother, Richard Gonzalez of Baltimore. "She loved the city of Baltimore, the neighborhoods, the people, the diversity. And she believed in the future of Baltimore. She encouraged people to try new things."

In 1980 she opened a store at the then-new Harborplace. Although she had never run a store before, she was told by Rouse Co. officials that her shop had the mall's highest sales volume per square foot. She created a T-shirt with the legend, "Don't bother me, I'm crabby." She gave up the business about 15 years ago.

Family members said she was a Ravens and Orioles fan, played the piano -- she enjoyed classical and popular music and often sang along. During the past five years she often painted flowers and scenes on glassware.

In addition to her husband and brother, she is survived by two daughters, Kimberly Brodie-Hopkins of Mount Washington and Ellen Brodie Jarrett of Lutherville; another brother, Gerald Gonzalez of Pensacola, Fla.; two sisters, Edith Shannon of Baltimore and Margaret Steele of Green Bay, Wis.; and four grandchildren.

Services will be held at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, Charles and Franklin streets, where she was a member for more than four decades.

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