Ruth R. Marder, philanthropist, dies

Ruth R. Marder, a Baltimore philanthropist whose charitable interests ranged from the arts to educational and medical institutions, died Jan. 28 of cancer at her Roland Park Place home. She was 83.

Born in Pittsburgh, Ruth Rosenberg was the daughter of Henry A. Rosenberg Sr., who had been president of Crown Central Petroleum Co., and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg. She was the granddaughter of Louis Blaustein, founder of the American Oil Co.


She was raised at Rainbow Hill, her family's Owings Mills estate, which had once been the home of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his first wife, Henriette Louis Cromwell Brooks, in the 1920s.

She was a 1945 graduate of Park School and earned a bachelor's degree in 1949 from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio.


Following in the footsteps of her parents, who had contributed millions of dollars to Baltimore educational, cultural and medical institutions over the years, Mrs. Marder was a longtime supporter of what are now McDaniel College and Towson University, where she had been a member of its board of visitors and fine and performing arts board.

In recognition of her work and philanthropy, the university named the studio theater at its Center for the Arts after her in 2002.

She had served as director of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center Foundation and contributed major financial support to the hospital's Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Program that allows specially trained and certified nurses to care for sexual assault victims.

Mrs. Marder had been a supporter of the House of Ruth and had served on the board of Northwest Hospital Center.

Other charitable interests included the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Maryland Public Television, where she chaired MPT's Society for Excellence in Television and supported its educational mission.

Mrs. Marder established the Ruth Carol Fund, a private foundation that supports leading organizations working in the arts, health and human services. Recipients of grants from the foundation include the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Associated Jewish Charities and the Walters Art Museum.

She also had been a trustee of the Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, a private foundation that had been established in 1959 and serves the community by supporting the arts and various cultural organizations, youth development, education, health and adult self-sufficiency.

Mrs. Marder enjoyed attending the theater.


She was a member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, where services were held Tuesday.

Marriages to Marty Davidson and Carl Marder ended in divorce.

Surviving are two daughters, Lisa Davidson of Portland, Ore., and Juli Davidson of Albuquerque, N.M.; a brother, Henry A. Rosenberg Jr. of Baltimore; a sister, Judith R. Hoffberger of Houston; and three grandchildren.