Marie Elaine Hollie Braxton Glenn, a mother of nine known for helping neighbors with everything from food and shelter to advice, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 4. The Park Heights resident was 69.
Born Marie Hollie, Ms. Glenn was a lifelong Baltimore resident. She grew up on the city's west side with one brother. Their father was a longshoreman, and when her mother worked outside the home, she was a cook for families in Roland Park. Ms. Glenn's family said she inherited her generous nature from her mother.
Ms. Glenn attended St. Pius School and was baptized at St. Pius Roman Catholic Church, where she was the fourth generation in her family to worship. She left school to work at an early age, but returned in 1983 once her children were grown and earned her high school equivalency diploma.
She was hired as an interviewer and case manager with the Maryland Energy Assistance Program. After five years in that position, she became a residential counselor for the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, supervising children in a group home. She retired from NCIA after a decade.
Ms. Glenn raised her family in the Sandtown neighborhood, where she lived for more than 35 years and was known for helping others.
Her sister-in-law, Donna T. Hollie of Baltimore, used to work for the city social services department. One day about 15 years ago, she recalled, a woman came into her office so distraught that she was ready to put her three children into foster care. Ms. Hollie persuaded the woman to stay with Ms. Glenn for a few days before making such a drastic decision.
When asked how she could afford to assist others when she was struggling to raise her family, Ms. Glenn would reply, according to family members, "I'll just put a little more water in the soup."
Ms. Glenn's first marriage was to Albert Henderson Braxton, a dental technician with whom she had three children. After that marriage ended in divorce, she married Clarence Glenn Jr., a truck driver, and had six more children.
She worked at various jobs to support her family, including at the Pimlico Race Course and in factories.
Ms. Glenn lost three of her children and two grandsons. One daughter, Sheila Glenn, died as a child after going to the hospital for minor surgery. Another, Sheila Braxton, died with her two sons in a fire. A son, Robert Glenn, died of cancer.
"I used to wonder how she could even function," Ms. Hollie said.
Years after Mr. Glenn died, Ms. Glenn moved in 2006 to the Upper Park Heights neighborhood, where she lived alone for the first time. She quickly became friends with a diverse group of people, including immigrants from Trinidad and the former Soviet Union.
She enjoyed cooking and entertaining at home, along with playing cards, bingo, dancing, shopping and traveling. For 26 years, she was a member of a social club, the Fabulous Eight, and was its president and financial secretary.
Services have been held.
She is survived by two sons, Gregory Hollie and Kevin Glenn, both of Baltimore; four daughters, Rita Hollie Silver, Donna Ann Hollie, Debora Glenn and LeRai Glenn Hebron, all of Baltimore; her brother, Ronald E. Hollie of Baltimore; 16 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.