George E. Brent, 67, aide to City Councilwoman Clarke

June 05, 2005|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

George E. Brent, a former aide to City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, died of a brain tumor Thursday at the Joseph Richey Hospice in downtown Baltimore. The Waverly resident was 67.

Born in Staunton, Va., Mr. Brent moved to Baltimore nearly 25 years ago to be an administrator of the Albert Witzke Medical Center in Highlandtown in a program designed to help elderly people live independently.

He had previously worked in administration at the Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y.; as a district health manager for the New York City Health Department; and as executive director of the Charles Drew Family Life Center in Dorchester, Mass.

Mr. Brent moved to a 33rd Street home and soon became involved in community issues through his memberships in the Better Waverly Community Organization and the old St. Bernard's Roman Catholic parish.

"George was a very social, cosmopolitan person who knew so many people," said Ms. Clarke, who hired him in 1987 to be the City Council president's director of constituent service.

"He'd arrive at work and there'd be a million messages on his desk in the morning, and by the end of the day his desk would be clean and he'd walk home," Ms. Clarke said Friday.

She said he knew many agency heads within city government and went on to be a "tireless campaigner."

In 1991, Mr. Brent ran for a 3rd District City Council seat. A Sun story said he "appeared to be the strongest of the black challengers," adding that, "Out on the stump, Mr. Brent touts his experience in doing constituent work for Ms. Clarke and his knowledge of how city government works."

In the Democratic primary, he placed fourth in the contest, which ultimately nominated three representatives: Martin O'Malley (who was later elected mayor), Martin E. "Mike" Curran and Wilbur E. "Bill" Cunningham. Mr. Brent lost by fewer than 200 votes.

He retired from his City Hall work in 1995, and worked for several years as a clubhouse usher at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.

"He was liked and respected by everyone, and he certainly knew a lot of dignitaries," said Ron Louden, the tracks' director of admissions.

Mr. Brent completed the Baltimore Marathon and participated in the Boston Marathon.

"George had the greatest sense of humor," said his wife of 45 years, the former Phyllis Douglass. "He would joke and backslap people. He treated everyone as a close friend and would often say, `Well, I don't know them well, but I like them.'"

A Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday at SS. Philip and James Roman Catholic Church, 2801 N. Charles St.

Survivors, in addition to his wife, include a son, Gregory Brent of Beltsville; a daughter, Kim Brent-Sewell of Baltimore; two brothers, Wayman Brent of Verona, Va., and Joseph Brent of Staunton, Va.; four sisters, Daisy Manning of New York, Suzy King of Staunton, Patsy Robinson of Middletown, Pa., and Betty Jones of Clermont, Fla.; and three grandchildren.

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