Anne Carey Boucher, 66, civic leader, artist

April 14, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Anne Carey Boucher, former chairwoman of the Maryland Commission on the Status of Women and member of Morgan State University's board of regents, died in her sleep of undetermined causes Friday at her Towson home. She was 66 and had lived for many years in Cockeysville.

She and her husband, Greater Baltimore Committee Director William Boucher III, were recalled yesterday as an "inseparable civic team" who promoted the rebirth of downtown Baltimore. Mr. Boucher, who died in 1995, headed the civic group for 26 years.

Born Anne Thomas Carey in Baltimore, she was a great-niece of M. Carey Thomas, a philanthropist instrumental in persuading Johns Hopkins Hospital's trustees to admit women to the Hopkins School of Medicine more than a century ago.

Raised on Mount Vernon Place, Mrs. Boucher was a 1955 graduate of Bryn Mawr School. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Throughout her life, Mrs. Boucher painted portraits and landscapes, which she gave to her friends.

In 1970, Gov. Marvin Mandel appointed her to the new 27-member Maryland Commission on the Status of Women.

"I really feel that women have not been given a fair shake," Mrs. Boucher told The Evening Sun in 1973. "I'm not concerned with women's liberation, I'm concerned with women's self-image. ... I don't downgrade the housewife, either; this a good job and a very important one."

She was elected board chairwoman of the Medical Eye Bank of Maryland in 1969 and staged several of its Eye Ball fund-raisers. She was also active in benefits for the Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Urban Coalition. She also held a kickoff party for the 1973 Mayor's Ball. In 1995, she was named to Morgan's board.

She and her husband lived for many years in a 200-year-old home on a 36-acre farm, Bellefields, on Western Run Road near Butler. Friends said she made the home a convivial setting for civic and political leaders.

"She was a gracious hostess" and promoted many causes - "civic and otherwise," said Anthony Carey, a Baltimore cousin. "She had an uncanny sense of how to encourage people with differing interests to join together in common cause."

She was a supporter of Gov. Harry R. Hughes and helped raise money for his 1982 re-election campaign.

Mrs. Boucher was a founder of two public relations firms, Boucher & Associates and BB&Y, which did public relations work for nonprofit organizations.

Friends said she was flamboyant in her dress and interests, which included astrology.

She often wore scarves made by artist David Picon. "I have a fetish for hearts, and he made me one in olive green and black with hearts," she once said.

She also applied silk beauty spots to her face along with makeup. "I did love glamour when I was younger," she told The Sun in 1997. "I had the most wonderful ostrich feather boa when I was 21. It was 6 feet long. I would really love to find one just like it."

At the same time, she said she often shopped for shampoo at discount stores - saying it was just as good as expensive brands.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Homewood Friends Meeting, 3107 N. Charles St.

Survivors include a half-brother, the Rev. James Carey of Pawtucket, R.I., and many cousins.

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