Natalie Jewett Marbury, a founding trustee of St. Paul's School for Girls, died Nov. 18 of cancer at her home at Roland Park Place. She was 86.
A raconteur with a finely tuned sense of humor, she once used her ability to whistle to bring to a halt a dinner meeting of the Harvard Corp.
On that occasion, her dinner companion asked her what she did, a question she had grown tired of answering, recalled her son, Luke Marbury of Baltimore.
"I whistle through my fingers," she replied.
"If you do that then I'll do a Rebel Yell," the companion said.
"Mother let out a blast and all conversation stopped. President James Conant of Harvard looked down the table and my father seemed somewhat dumbfounded over the whole idea of it," her son said.
"And that rascal who challenged mother immediately turned to the lady on his left and never did do the Rebel Yell," the son added with a laugh.
On another occasion, her son recalled, a man asked her if her husband had gone to "The University," a reference to Harvard.
Mrs. Marbury replied, "He went to the high school, the university and Harvard Law School," referring to Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., and the University of Virginia, often called "The University."
"She really was a very quiet person," said her son. "She was a woman of good humor with a well-defined sense of daring."
She was born at Landsdowne on Deer Creek near Darlington, the daughter of a Harford County lawyer. As a young woman, she wrote poetry for the Aegis, a local newspaper. She graduated from Calvert School in 1920 and continued her education at the Bryn Mawr School, leaving after her father's death and moving with her family to Monte Carlo to live with relatives.
She returned to Baltimore in the late 1920s and in 1932 married Charles Yandes Wheeler of Washington, D.C., a pilot for Luddington Airlines, which operated between Washington and New York. He was killed in an automobile accident in 1933.
In 1935, she married William L. Marbury, the prominent and distinguished Baltimore lawyer who died in 1988. His career spanned 60 years in the prestigious firm of Piper & Marbury, which was founded by his father.
The couple made their home on Warrenton Road in Guilford for 50 years before moving to the Roland Park Place retirement community.
She served on the vestry of Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church and in 1959 helped establish St. Paul's School for Girls in Brooklandville. Last year, in recognition of her service to the school, she was awarded the Trustee Service Award.
She was a member of the Mount Vernon Club, the Guilford Garden Club and the Society of Colonial Dames.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Charles at Saratoga streets, Baltimore.
She is survived by another son, Charles Yandes Wheeler of Baltimore;two daughters, Susan Fendall Marbury of Baltimore and Anne Wyatt-Brown of Gainesville, Fla.; and six grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to the Marbury Fund, c/o St. Paul's School for Girls, 11232 Falls Road, Brooklandville 21022.