Gwendolyn Brown, member of hospital board, volunteer


Gwendolyn Cochran Brown, a devoted volunteer for decades and a board member at Union Memorial Hospital who enjoyed gardening and family life, died Thursday of complications from a bleeding ulcer at her Woodbrook home. She was 89.

Mrs. Brown had worked every Tuesday as a volunteer at Union Memorial for about 25 years, serving sandwiches and soft drinks in the hospital cafeteria -- and making many friends, said her daughter, Jeannette Brown Finney of Upperco.

"She enjoyed her volunteer work there very much and was

extremely generous of her time. The doctors would come in to eat, as did the nurses and the families. She liked being around all the people," Mrs. Finney said.

Mrs. Brown's interest in the hospital dated back many years and, in a sense, she was born with it.

Her mother, Nina Gill Cochran, had chaired the women's board at Union Memorial. Mrs. Brown "basically followed in her footsteps" and became a board member herself in the 1960s and 1970s, Mrs. Finney said.

Born on Mount Vernon Place, Mrs. Brown moved to Woodbrook Lane near Baltimore County's Lake Roland in 1911.

A 1923 graduate of the Master's School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., she had also volunteered at James Lawrence Kernan Hospital before marrying Edward W. Brown in 1932. Mr. Brown, retired headmaster of Calvert School, died in 1993.

Mrs. Brown had a way with flowers and long had maintained a rose garden behind her Woodbrook home. She also kept a rose garden at a summer home in Northeast Harbor, Maine, her

daughter said.

She was a member of the Amateur Garden Club and the Mount Vernon Club.

But Mrs. Brown's biggest concern was always her family.

"She was a very devoted family person. She was always there when my brother and I would come home from school," Mrs. Finney recalled.

Services will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow in the chapel of Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, 6200 N. Charles St., where Mrs. Brown was a longtime member.

In addition to Mrs. Finney, her survivors include a son, Edward W. Brown of Woodbrook; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

The family suggested contributions to Union Memorial Hospital, in care of Union Memorial Foundation, 201 E. University Parkway, Baltimore 21218.

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