Charlotte Truesdell

Age 86 Former MIT mathematician was a patron of Baltimore's classical music.

July 14, 2008|By David Kohn | David Kohn,Sun reporter

Charlotte Truesdell, a patron of music and a lover of art and cooking, died July 5 in her home in Baltimore. She was 86.

She died of natural causes, said a sister, Audrey Halperin of Atlantis, Fla.

Mrs. Truesdell lived in Baltimore for more than four decades. She played host to and fed dozens of classical musicians visiting Baltimore.

The former Charlotte Brudno was born in Boston. She attended Cambridge Junior College, and after receiving a degree in mathematics, went to work as a mathematician for a Massachusetts Institute of Technology lab, where the work focused on radiation.

She moved to Washington in 1946 to work as a mathematician for the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. There she met Clifford Truesdell, also a mathematician; they were married in 1951.

The couple moved to Bloomington, Ind., in the 1950s for a professorship for Mr. Truesdell at Indiana University. While there, Mrs. Truesdell received a master's degree in mathematics. The couple moved to Baltimore in the mid-1960s, when Mr. Truesdell got a job as a mathematics professor at the Johns Hopkins University.

Although Mrs. Truesdell never worked as a mathematician again, she often helped her husband with his scholarly articles.

Mrs. Truesdell was an accomplished pianist. She loved classical music, particularly Bach.

She also loved to cook, and was proficient in a range of cuisines, from French to Thai.

She and her husband were deeply involved in Pro Musica Rara, a Baltimore-based group that hosts performances of music from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Truesdells put up musicians, fed them and hosted rehearsals in their house.

They never had a television in their house, and they dressed formally for dinner every night - she in a gown, he in a velvet dinner jacket.

In addition to her sister, Mrs. Truesdell is survived by another sister, Dorothy Goldberg of Brookline, Mass.; a stepson, Clifford Truesdell IV; and two grandchildren. Her husband died in 2000.

Services will be private.

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