Mary Louise Guidera, 95, longtime hospital volunteer


Mary Louise Guidera, a volunteer at what now is Mercy Medical Center who worked at the information desk for nearly 40 years, died Tuesday of heart failure at the home of a daughter in Towson. She was 95.

She was a volunteer at Mercy from 1951 until 1988.

She was known at the hospital for her ready smile and kind words that put patients and their families at ease.

"She was the first person people encountered upon entering the hospital," said Sister Mary Thomas, president emeritus of the hospital.

"She manned that desk for years with poise and a cheerfulness and graciousness that manifested the spirit of the Mercy mission. She was so faithful that she'd even come through the rain, sleet or snow to get to her desk," said Sister Thomas.

Mrs. Guidera, who did not drive, traveled by streetcar from her Govans home to the hospital and, in later years, by bus or taxi. In 1988, when her family insisted on driving her to and from Mercy, she rebelled at her loss of independence and ended her service to the hospital.

She was described by family members as a strong-willed and independent woman who had her own apartment until she was 92.

"For her time, she really was a modern woman," said a daughter, Mary G. Cummons of Towson, with whom Mrs. Guidera lived in recent years.

"She was known for her dry wit and boundless energy and used to say when asked about her weekend plans, 'I have a wedding, wake, funeral or christening to go to,' " said Mrs. Cummons with a laugh.

"She had so many friends and was always going to funerals that we used to tease her and say that when she died, her family would have to rent the 5th Regiment Armory for her funeral," said Sister Elizabeth Anne.

The former Mary Louise Hild was born in Baltimore and was raised with nine brothers above Hild's Bakery, the family business on Pennsylvania Avenue. After graduating from St. Alphonsus parochial school, she worked as a secretary and bookkeeper until her marriage in 1922 to Thomas J. Guidera, a homebuilder and developer who died in 1982.

The couple raised their nine children in homes in Roland Park and later in Govans.

Mrs. Guidera, who was a co-founder in 1951 of the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary Committee, also was a co-founder of the Loyola High School Mothers Club.

She also sewed priests' vestments as a member of the Holy Needlers at Loyola College for many years.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. tTC Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church, 5500 York Road, where she had been a communicant and a member of the sodality for 60 years.

Other survivors include two sons, the Rev. John F. Guidera, S.J., of Bihar, India, and James G. Guidera of Govans; five other daughters, Rita Zungailia of Baltimore, Patricia Maas of Timonium, Betty Jean Bollinger of Towson, Joan Desantis of Hunt Valley and Anne Mace of Thornton, Pa.; 60 grandchildren; and 73 great-grandchildren.

John W. Perry Jr., credit manager

John W. Perry Jr., retired credit manager of the Head Ski Co. who was active in community affairs, died Sunday at Stella Maris Hospice after a heart attack. The Towson resident was 80.

Mr. Perry retired in 1971 after serving as the credit manager for the ski equipment company since 1964. For many years before that, he had been district credit manager for the Procter & Gamble Distributing Co. in Baltimore.

A graduate of the New York Institute of Photography, he took wedding pictures for Paul Jordan Studios and also did photographic work for Harry T. Campbell Sons' Co.

The Centreville native became the first Eagle Scout on the Eastern Shore in 1931 and in 1937 graduated from Washington College.

As a Navy officer during World War II, he participated in landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the Pacific. He reached the rank of lieutenant and was recalled to active duty during the Korean War.

After World War II, he was the first postwar commander of the Klingelhofer Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Towson.

He started Troop 341 of the Boy Scouts at the Towson Presbyterian Church and served as its first scoutmaster and then as a district commissioner for the Boy Scouts.

For many years, he was treasurer of the Baltimore Chapter of the Washington College Alumni Association.

served on the Democratic State Central Committee in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was also a former president of the Fellowship Forest Community Association.

In addition, he was a member of the Mount Moriah Lodge of the Masons, the Military Order of the World Wars and the Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

Services will held at 3 p.m. today at Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave. in Towson.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, the former Leah Hackett Frederick; a daughter, Ellen P. Kroll of Hancock, Mich.; three sons, John W. Perry III, David S. Perry and Steven F. Perry, all of Towson; a brother, Robert G. Perry of Bloomfield, Conn.; and seven grandchildren.

Charlotte Respess Brent, volunteer

Charlotte Respess Brent, a homemaker and a volunteer, died Tuesday of cancer at her Lutherville residence. She was 67.

Mrs. Brent, a Worthy Matron of the Temple Square Chapter No. 88 of the Eastern Star, also was a volunteer for many years with the Welcome Wagon of Towson.

The former Charlotte Kuhn was raised in Northeast Baltimore and was a graduate of Eastern High School.

She was married in 1949 to George W. S. Respess, a vice president with the old Equitable Bank, who died in 1987. In 1991, she married William H. Brent, a retired businessman.

Mrs. Brent was a member of Towson United Methodist Church, 501 Hampton Lane, where services will be held at 11 a.m. today.

She is survived by her husband; a son, John Randolph Respess II of Ellicott City; two daughters, Nancy Respess Rihard of Hampstead and Katherine Lee Fine of Stevenson; a brother, Frank W. Kuhn of Jarrettsville; a stepson, William H. Brent Jr. of Alexandria, Va.; a stepdaughter, Sharon T. Reimholz of Chicago; and 13 grandchildren.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad