Marianne von Marees Brundige, 79, women's club president, volunteer

December 27, 2004|By Sara Neufeld | Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

Marianne von Marees Brundige, former president of the Women's Club of Roland Park, died Tuesday at Keswick Multi-Care Center in Baltimore after struggling for more than five years with Alzheimer's disease. She was 79 and a longtime resident of Stevenson.

Mrs. Brundige also served as president of the Roland Park Garden Club and the Maryland branch of the English-Speaking Union. She was on the women's boards of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Hampton National Historic Site, the Ridgely mansion in Towson. She also volunteered in the gift shop at Union Memorial Hospital.

"The kinds of things she was involved in were social in nature, but they also served a purpose," said her daughter, Ann Worthington Brundige of Arnold. The English-Speaking Union, for example, held fund-raisers to benefit children learning English.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Roland Park, Marianne von Marees attended Bryn Mawr School through 10th grade and graduated from the former Greenwood School in 1943. She studied at Goucher College.

As a girl, Mrs. Brundige was an accomplished horseback rider, and her life revolved around her horse, Zephyr, her daughter said. When she was 16, she attended a barn party where she met her future husband, Thomas Worthington Brundige III, then a student at the Johns Hopkins University.

The couple married three days after Mrs. Brundige's high school graduation, and they had two children. Their daughter said her parents were "incredibly devoted to each other."

Their other child, Thomas Worthington Brundige IV, was an Air Force fighter pilot who died during a training exercise in 1981. Ann Brundige said her mother never recovered from the loss.

While her children were growing up, Mrs. Brundige was committed to their education, sending them both to private school and signing up her daughter for ballroom dancing and ballet lessons, Ann Brundige said.

On nights when her husband, an attorney, worked late, Mrs. Brundige would have the family wait for him to eat dinner together. She would light candles on the table.

An avid gardener, she lined her long driveway in Stevenson with tulips and daffodils, her daughter said. Every Christmas, she would host a large party.

"She had a very elegant way of living, yet for us it was normal," Ann Brundige said.

Mrs. Brundige and her husband traveled all over the world, their daughter said. Destinations included Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Portugal, Egypt, South Africa, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines. They were planning a trip to the antarctic when she became ill with Alzheimer's.

Mrs. Brundige had lived at Keswick Multi-Care Center since August 2003.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today at St. Stephen's Traditional Episcopal Church, 11856 Mays Chapel Road in Timonium.

She is survived by her husband and daughter.

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