Marian Brody

The Baltimore Sun

Marian Brody, a retired psychologist who worked in a clinic for returning World War II servicemen, died of cancer Monday at her Village of Cross Keys home. She was 86.

Born Marian Elizabeth Holen in Evanston, Ill., she earned an associate's degree from Stephens College in fine arts and later received a fellowship to continue her education in that field. As a young woman, she designed shop windows and a marquee for a movie theater.

"Everything she did in her life was very beautiful," said her daughter, Julie Anne Brody of Boulder, Colo. "She was a talented seamstress, gardener and cook."

She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Missouri, where she met her future husband, Dr. Eugene B. Brody, who was to become chairman of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

She moved east to be closer to her fiance and became an instructor for a Navy program at Brown University in Providence, R.I., where she also received a master's degree in experimental psychology.

Dr. Brody moved to New Haven, Conn., for a Yale University residency in psychiatry, and Mrs. Brody enrolled as a doctoral student at Yale. She worked simultaneously as a psychologist in a clinic in New Haven for servicemen returning from World War II combat.

"She spoke of the trouble the servicemen experienced after the obliteration of civilized rules for living they experienced in combat," her husband said. "She was impressed by the residual damage done to these young men in World War II."

Her work was interrupted in 1946 when her husband was assigned to interview Nazi prisoners of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany.

She asked to join him, but was told that that it might take a year for the Army to arrange transportation. She booked passage from New York to France on one of the first ships to be converted to passenger use after the war. She arrived at Le Havre, France, in November 1946 during one of the coldest winters on record.

"She recognized me from the tender ferrying her to the dock by the light of fires burning in oil drums to furnish some heat," her husband recalled, adding that he had spent the night in a room above a bar waiting for her.

Once in Nuremberg, she applied for a job at the prison. She was told that no women were allowed to work there for fear that they might be taken hostage by imprisoned Nazis, her husband recalled.

The Brodys returned to New Haven, where they were affiliated with Yale until moving to Baltimore in 1957.

As a volunteer for 25 years in Baltimore, Mrs. Brody was a mainstay of WICS, Women in Community Service, interviewing disadvantaged post-adolescent girls applying for their programs and managing the data processing operations, her husband said.

After WICS was discontinued as a volunteer operation, Mrs. Brody worked at various times for the Baltimore County Health Department and trained police officers in human relations and drug abuse counseling. She also worked for the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in its poison-control service.

Mrs. Brody also assisted her husband in his role at the University of Maryland.

"She was a gracious and welcoming hostess for several generations of psychiatric residents who gathered regularly for evening meetings at our home," her husband said.

In the past decade, she was a Transnational Family Institute volunteer for projects in Yemen and Uzbekistan. She had earlier volunteered for other international projects while her husband worked with the Pan American Health Organization and the World Federation for Mental Health.

Mrs. Brody's favorite recreation for 40 years was sailing with her husband on the Chesapeake Bay on their sloop, Sirena.

In addition to her husband of 64 years and her daughter, survivors include a son, John Holen Brody of Boulder Colo.; and five grandchildren. A son, James Brody, died in 2005.

A memorial observance is private.

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