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Laura Elizabeth McGrath

Colleges and UniversitiesChristianityRoman CatholicismUniversity of Maryland, College ParkDenise RichardsBBC

Laura Elizabeth McGrath, a Columbia-based affordable housing advocate, died of colon cancer Sept. 22 at her Hyattsville home. The former Northeast Baltimore resident was 46.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Gardenville on LaSalle Avenue, she was a 1982 Western High School graduate and earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also had a master's degree in applied anthropology with a concentration in urban planning and community development.

While a college student, she had internships with the Democratic National Committee in Washington and Community Planning, Housing and Development in Arlington County, Va.

At her death, she was a vice president at the Knowledge, Impact and Strategy Department of Enterprise Community Partners in Columbia. She worked in the field of affordable housing.

She had earlier been employed at the Community Information Exchange, the Fannie Mae Foundation and the McAuley Institute in Washington.

"Laura engendered deep respect from her Enterprise colleagues, as well as those we serve through our work and mission," said a co-worker, Bill Frey, senior vice president at Enterprise Community Partners. "She took time and listened. She had great compassion that quietly motivated all of us to think bigger about what needed to be done to improve the lives of those we serve."

She was an active Western High School alumna and was planning her 30th reunion celebration. Family members said she was a fan of the BBC series "EastEnders."

Survivors include her husband of 19 years, James Craver, an analyst and manager at the National Center for Health Statistics; two sons, Aidan Craver and Luke Craver, both of Hyattsville; her mother and stepfather, Nancy and Fred Schultz of Takoma Park; her stepmother, Rita Cain of Baltimore; two sisters, Dawn Hester of Hyattsville and Denise Richards of Columbia; two stepbrothers, Peter Schultz of Brest, France, and Rick Schultz of Cockeysville; and three stepsisters, Donna Peterson of Spring, Texas, Teresa Wade of Leesburg, Va., and Karen Iannone of Kaysville, Utah.

A Mass was offered Sept. 27 at Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church in College Park, where she was a member.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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