Elizabeth S. Pembroke, 88, social worker, pianist

Elizabeth S. Pembroke, a retired social worker, world traveler and pianist, died of complications from old age Tuesday at her home in Roland Park. She was 88.

Elizabeth Smith was born in Worcester, Mass. After graduating from high school there, she took a job with the Red Cross that spawned an interest in social work. She earned a bachelor's degree in the field from Clark University in Worcester and a master's from Smith College in Northampton, Mass.


During a work-study program in Baltimore, she met her husband, Dr. Richard H. Pembroke Jr., a psychoanalyst who practiced at St. Joseph Hospital. The couple began their married life 53 years ago with a honeymoon camping trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. Travel figured prominently throughout their lives. They visited many countries in Asia, Africa and South America, and took their three children on camping trips across the United States.

A lifelong interest in astronomy often meant they scheduled travel to coincide with a celestial event, such as a solar eclipse or Halley's comet. Until two years ago, the couple made an annual visit to Vermont, where they camped with other amateur astronomers.


When her children were grown, Mrs. Pembroke returned to social work at the clinic at St. Joseph Hospital.

She never lost touch with her New England roots. Every spring she volunteered her time and organizational skills for the annual Smith College Alumnae used-book sale in Baltimore, which benefited the scholarship fund at her alma mater.

In her youth, she developed a lifelong love for music, particularly the piano. In her 20s, she played the piano on a weekly radio show at a Worcester station, a job she counted among her favorites. She played the piano nearly every day of her life.

No formal services are planned.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a son, Richard P. Pembroke of Baltimore, and daughters Ann Pembroke and Susan Pembroke, both of Portsmouth, N.H.