Neighbors of the woman struck and killed by a Charm City Circulator bus Tuesday say Stephanie Albright was a giving woman, caring mother and the unofficial "mayor" of her Howard County community.
Baltimore police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said investigators have ruled Albright's death near Johns Hopkins Hospital a suicide based on witness accounts and evidence at the scene. He would not elaborate on their findings.
Albright, 50, of the 1800 block of Woodstock Road in northern Howard County, founded the Albright Foundation with her husband after the couple sold their company, Maryland Beverage, to Sterling Capital 22 years ago, according to the foundation's website. The foundation has raised money for more than 50 local charities and nonprofits dedicated to helping children, including the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Close friend Xandy Waesche of Timonium said Albright's friends are "totally shocked. I just can't imagine. Our lives intersected in so many places. She's amazing. We're just all in shock."
A woman at Albright's home Thursday declined to comment when approached by a reporter.
Born in Potomac, Albright graduated from Vanderbilt University and volunteered for her alma mater, according to the foundation's website.
Albright also served on the board of trustees at the Therapeutic and Recreational Riding Center, an organization that provides horse riding therapy for disabled people.
Several neighbors in her rural Woodstock community said they were shaken by the news.
"She would do anything for anybody," said Sue Koment, who lives down the street from the Albright home. "She was such a sweet person, and she will be sorely missed in the neighborhood."
Neighbors said that in addition to her charity work, Albright was devoted to bringing residents together. She hosted "the biggest, best" Christmas parties and a charity golf event every spring, they said. She organized Bunco games and tennis matches and often rounded up groups for get-togethers and dinner outings.
Albright was the "mayor of Woodstock," Koment said. "She really was a shining star."
Bonnie Teal, a longtime friend and neighbor on nearby Quarter Horse Drive, had another nickname for her. "I used to call her the 'one-person welcoming committee,'" Teal said.
When Teal's husband died, Albright brought her family dinners. Several neighbors said Thursday they planned to do the same for Albright's family.
"Her friendship circle reaches far and wide," neighbor Amy Santangelo said. "She was known and loved by many, many people."
Allan Kittleman, a Republican state senator representing Howard and Carroll counties, called Albright "a wonderful person."
"I met with her many times and have gone to events with the Albright Foundation," he said. "She was always so friendly and so cheerful. … Gosh, it makes me so sad to hear that."