In Columbia, there was only one James Rouse. But two of the many important players in the history and development of the planned community died in the past week, and the community is the poorer for it.
One was Patty Rouse, the widow of Columbia's founder. More than just a strong supporter of her visionary husband, Patty Rouse co-founded (with her husband) The Enterprise Foundation, a nonprofit that built affordable housing for low-income families, in 1982. She remained involved with the foundation and with numerous other local boards and organizations long after her husband died in 1996.
The second was Emily Lincoln, who moved to Columbia in 1969 and for more than four decades was a passionate advocate for community and social justice causes, working to make life better for women, children, senior citizens and many more. Most recently, Lincoln was the moving force behind Bring Back the Vision, a group that supported plans to redevelop Columbia's downtown.
Columbia has developed as an open, caring and successful community because of people like Patty Rouse and Emily Lincoln. They will be missed.