Ann Carter Stonesifer, a longtime volunteer involved with various cultural and historical organizations, died Wednesday from ovarian cancer at the Brightwood retirement community in Lutherville.
The longtime Owings Mills resident was 80.
"She was really one of the great ladies of Baltimore," said Dr. Earl P. Galleher Jr., a retired urologist who lives at Brightwood. "She was an outstanding and giving person and her death will be a huge loss for her many, many friends."
"Ann Carter was such a good friend," said Richard E. "Dick" Gatchell of Ruxton. "She was good, loyal and generous of heart. She was a great organizer. She was attractive and you could never say no to her when she asked you something."
"She did so many things, without fanfare, and she did them expertly," he said. "She was the universal woman."
Nancy I. Price, who also lives in Ruxton, said she had been close friend of Mrs. Stonesifer for 70 years, and "her death leaves a huge hole in my heart."
"Ann Carter loved life and lived it to the fullest, and was always ready for the next adventure," she said. "She had a very vibrant personality and as a very dominant person. Once you met her, you didn't forget her."
Ann Carter Kennedy was born in Baltimore, the daughter of Walter Leonard Kennedy, a Crosse & Blackwell executive, and Margaret Pendleton Carter.
She was raised in Ruxton. After graduating from Bryn Mawr School in 1954, she attended Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., and obtained a bachelor's degree in 1959 from Goucher College. She made her social debut in 1954 at the Bachelors Cotillon.
Mrs. Stonesifer taught at field hockey St. Timothy's School from 1959 to 1960, then joined the faculty of Roland Park Country School. There, she taught fourth grade until 1964, when her first child was born.
Mrs. Stonesifer also worked in real estate during the 1970s for Piper & Co., O'Conor Piper & Flynn, and Hill & Co.
In 1961, she married Dr. Geary Lee Stonesifer Jr., a surgeon, who later established the department of surgery at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and was chief of surgery for 22 years, until retiring in 1988. He died in 2000.
Mrs. Stonesifer volunteered for years at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and GBMC. She served on the Women's Committee of the Maryland Historical Society and was on the board of Hampton National Historic Site in Towson.
She was also a member of the Friends of the American Wing at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Other board memberships included the Elkridge Club, Mount Vernon Club and the Brightwood retirement community, where she had been board president.
She was also a member of the Wianno Club in Osterville, Mass., and the Hillsboro Club in Hillsboro Beach, Fla.
Friends said Mrs. Stonesifer was always stylishly dressed with perfectly coiffed blonde hair, no matter the hour of the day.
"Ann Carter was a lady of great style and taste and she always looked like a million dollars," Dr. Galleher said.
"She was one glamorous woman with a heart of gold," said Jake Boone, of Bolton Hill, a longtime friend. "She was a very generous woman and she's going to be sorely missed in Baltimore."
Mrs. Stonesifer, a longtime resident of Golf Course Road in Owings Mills prior to moving to Brightwood three years ago, enjoyed collecting art, antiques and traveling.
"She collected British and American antiques that ranged from silver to furniture and she furnished her home with them," said her daughter, Ann Landon Stonesifer of Lutherville. "She also collected art."
"She had beautiful art and antiques," Mr. Gatchell said.
"Her houses were like museums and were just magnificent, but at the same time very liveable," Dr. Galleher said. "They really reflected her excellent taste."
Mrs. Stonesifer's favorite travel destinations were the Cotswolds in England and Jackson Hole, Wyo. She also enjoyed giving and attending parties.
"She was the most social person I've ever met," her daughter said.
"We organized and gave a lot of parties together at the Mount Vernon Club and the Elkridge Club," Mrs. Price said. "When Ann Carter gave a party, they were always very elegant, organized and joyful. She liked mixing people and liked using place cards. They were not free-wheeling."
"Every one was memorable and you went home feeling wonderful," Mr. Gatchell said of Mrs. Stonesifer's gatherings. "She did them beautifully, and she loved new people."
"Ann Carter had a strong personality and opinions and loved a good discussion," he said. "She was always full of adventure and everyday in her life was a joy."
She was a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane, Owings Mills, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Stonesifer is survived by a son, Geary Lee Stonesifer III of Philadelphia; and three grandchildren.