As innkeeper at the Historic Inns of Annapolis, Margaret Bednarsky, known as “Miss Peg,” spent more than 50 years providing a home away from home to legislators during Maryland’s 90-day legislative sessions. And on Thursday the Maryland Senate adjourned in her honor.
Bednarsky died Jan. 7 at age 93, leaving behind a legacy of kindness, humor and hospitality that has inspired other leaders in Maryland’s hotel, lodging and tourism industries. The Severna Park resident had retired in 2019 at the age of 90.
State Sen. Ed Reilly was Bednarsky’s representative and proposed adjourning the Senate in her honor Thursday, saying she was a constant on State Circle who epitomized Annapolis hospitality.
She worked at properties near the State House including the Maryland Inn, Governor Calvert House and the Robert Johnson House, where legislators from far-flung districts would stay during the session. One guest was longtime Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr.
“You walked in the door you knew she would be there and you knew she would be treating you like royalty,” Reilly said.
She extended the same kindness to thousands of tourists, visitors and residents in her years of service, he said. He said the adjournment in her honor will be in the records of the state Senate in perpetuity.
“It’s saying to the family: ‘We are mourning with you,’” Reilly said.
An obituary published by The Capital says Bednarsky is survived by two daughters, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, and was preceded in death by her son, Thomas Bednarsky, and her husband, Vincent Bednarsky.
Originally from Massachusetts, Margaret Bednarsky came to Maryland with her family when her husband got a job working for the National Security Agency. Four years after moving, her husband died and she threw her energy into the inns and providing for her children.
“Peg was really a pioneer for women in the industry,” Maryland Hotel Lodging Association President and CEO Amy Rohrer said.
Rohrer said Bednarsky was warm and had a gentle way about her when working with all sorts of people. She was always interested in learning about the latest in the hotel and lodging industry, traveling to trade shows in New York, and representing Maryland on the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
“She had so much insight she would share with me,” Rohrer said.
Rohrer’s predecessor, Mary Jo McCulloch, worked in the industry with Bednarsky for at least 40 years and said she was generous in sharing what she had learned in her decades of operating the inns.
“She had that aura about her that was magnetizing. She pulled you to her,” McCulloch said. “Everyone was ‘hon.’ ‘Hi hon, how are you doing?’”
Bednarsky was constantly learning from her peers around the country and bringing what she learned back to Annapolis and Maryland, McColloch said, and also had great empathy and listening skills.
“She remembered everything about you. When you saw her again she would ask about your children, your family. She had a good memory for what people were going through,” McColloch said.
A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Barranco Severna Park Funeral Home & Cremation Care, P.A., 495 Gov. Ritchie Hwy. in Severna Park. A mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 689 Gov. Ritchie Hwy. Plans for a celebration of life will be announced at a future date.