Louise S. Remanjon, 85, social worker, longtime Roland Park community activist

December 01, 2003|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Louise S. Remanjon, a longtime Roland Park resident with a passion for social causes who could cook a hearty pot of shrimp Creole, died of natural causes Nov. 24 at her Village of Cross Keys home in North Baltimore. She was 85.

"She had strong opinions about everything," said her daughter, Marie R. Tulin of Boston. "She was a passionate Democrat who believed in fighting for social justice. We always didn't agree, but she never lost that spark."

Mrs. Remanjon was born Louise Semple in New Orleans and was a graduate of Tulane University, where she would later earn a master's degree in social work. Family members said that although she spent the majority of her years in Baltimore, Mrs. Remanjon never lost affection for her birthplace, its tradition and its cooking.

In 1944, she married Arthur deRoaldes Remanjon Sr., and in 1946 the couple moved to Baltimore, where she became a social worker at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Living in Roland Park for more than 50 years, she and her husband were active in the Roland Park Civic League. Together, they worked hard to maintain their community's residential character.

Into her mid-70s, Mrs. Remanjon was a fixture on the quiet streets of Roland Park, where she rode her bicycle daily and stopped at the homes of neighbors to chat.

Long a student of literature, she decided to return to college in her mid-50s and earned a master's degree in liberal arts from the Johns Hopkins University. She then taught literature and creative writing to adults at Towson University and the Edenwald Retirement Community.

In a 1993 interview in The Sun, Mrs. Remanjon described life in her community: "You don't feel cramped, you can breathe," she said, surveying begonias bursting pink and white in her front garden.

She was an avid gardener, and her colorful flowers and bushes of well-tended roses were a neighborhood attraction. After being stricken with severe arthritis, she would help plant fall pansies in her garden by using the tip of her crutch to poke holes in the ground for seeds.

Mrs. Remanjon enjoyed preparing dishes from her birthplace, including shrimp Creole. Each year around Mardi Gras, her Roland Park neighbors would enjoy the bouquet of her simmering pot of Creole, which she served to friends and neighbors.

"The Creole was old style, and she enjoyed inviting neighbors in to sit down to a bowl and talk about issues of the day," her daughter said.

Mrs. Remanjon remained a strongly opinionated woman into her late years. And, her family said, her determination was legendary.

When her Roland Park home was heavily damaged by fire in 1998, she was confined to an area nursing home. That did not prevent her, however, from directing the structure's redesign from her nursing home telephone.

A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held in January.

In addition to her daughter, survivors include a son, Arthur Remanjon Jr. of Baltimore, and three granddaughters. Her husband died in 1985.

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