Anne H. Grady

[ Age 95 ] She remained active with family, photography after her retirement from Hopkins Hospital in 2003.

October 29, 2006|By Julie Scharper | Julie Scharper,Sun reporter

Anne H. Grady, who worked in patient relations at Johns Hopkins Hospital until retiring at the age of 93, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday at the Blakehurst retirement community in Towson. She was 95.

Born Anne Hartnett, she grew up on Cathedral Street in Mount Vernon. As a girl, she ate ice cream at the Jacobs mansion and, on snowy days, coasted down Mulberry Street on a sled. Her mother, Grace Hartnett, was active in the suffragist movement and served as a city magistrate.

"My grandmother was somewhat of a model for her, that you didn't have to be the lady in the housedress making cookies," said a daughter, Patricia Martin of Bel Air.

Mrs. Grady graduated from Mount St. Agnes High School in 1929 and soon after met her husband, Harry J. Grady, who was a guest at her parents' boarding house.

They married in 1933 and lived briefly in Homeland before settling in Stoneleigh, where they raised two daughters, Mrs. Martin and Mary Theresa Kennedy of Crofton.

When gasoline was short during World War II, Mrs. Grady would often ride around with her young daughters on her bicycle. She doted on her Scottie dogs, Laddie and Lassie, and would bring them on family trips to Ocean City.

The Gradys were active in the Maryland Pony Club and volunteered at Mercy Hospital, Mrs. Martin said.

In 1958, after both daughters had married, Mrs. Grady took a job admitting patients to the emergency room at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She continued to work there for 45 years.

The hospital became a second family for Mrs. Grady after her husband died in 1971, her daughter said.

"She was the problem-solver in the admitting program," said the Rev. Clyde Shallenberger, the former hospital chaplain and a longtime friend. "She had a unique ability to reconcile people. For example, if there was some tension between a doctor and a patient's family, she would talk to the two of them, and they would leave satisfied."

Mrs. Grady was promoted to department head of outpatient services and the hospital's first director of patient relations.

In the 1990s, the hospital created a position for her called special services coordinator. "I think they just did not want to let her go," Mr. Shallenberger said. "And I think if Anne had retired too early, she wouldn't have known what to do with herself."

Mrs. Grady stayed active during her later years, riding on a front-end loader and the back of a motorcycle a few years ago.

"Anything that had wheels, she loved," Mrs. Martin said, adding that her mother drove a Thunderbird for many years and was diagnosing car problems as recently as last spring.

Mrs. Grady drove herself to work at Hopkins even while coping with breast cancer in her 80s. When she retired in 2003, it was only because she had become unable to drive, her daughter said.

"To tell you the truth, I don't think my mother would have retired when she did, but she fell going to work and she broke her arm," she said.

After her retirement, Mrs. Grady kept busy with activities at Blakehurst, where she moved in 2002. She continued to accompany Mrs. Martin and her husband on boating trips and loved taking pictures of the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean. Her daughter said that she has boxes of her mother's photographs to sort through.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Friday at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson, where Mrs. Grady was a parishioner.

In addition to her two daughters, Mrs. Grady is survived by six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


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