Anne S. 'Nancy' Feild, gardener who enjoyed touring historic homes, dies

Longtime resident of Catonsville and Rodgers Forge encouraged her children to serve others.

Anne S. "Nancy" Feild, a homemaker who maintained an interest in historic houses and gardening, died June 11 from complications from vascular disease at Stella Maris Hospice. She was 92.

Anne King Sehlstedt was born in Baltimore, the daughter of Albert Sehlstedt Sr., owner of the Albert Sehlstedt Co., monument makers, and Elizabeth "Bessie" Reneham Sehlstedt, a former News American reporter who later managed her husband's firm.

Mrs. Feild, who was known as Nancy, spent her early years living on St. Paul Street before moving with her family to Hilton Avenue, and finally Melvin Avenue in Catonsville.

She attended Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville and graduated in 1942. During her high school years, she worked at O'Neill & Co., a department store at Charles and Lexington streets, and modeled for a local newspaper.

After graduation, she attended a school for training as a medical secretary and later worked for the chairman of the gynecology department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

In 1945, she married Francis Joseph Feild, a Navy lieutenant, and they went to Moffett Airfield, a naval air station, in Alameda, Calif., where her husband was an aerologist.

After his discharge in 1950, they moved to Catonsville and settled on Melvin Avenue.

While there, Mrs. Feild was a member of the Sisters Treat Committee, which prepared noonday meals for the nuns at the nearby St. Mark's convent when their cook was off, and on holidays.

"She was a wonderful, wonderful woman and they lived on Melvin Avenue when I was a child in a house right next door to the convent," said a niece, Ann Feild, a former Baltimore Sun artist. "She was a very cheerful person and, while not an artist, she had a sensibility about literature. She was a very sweet woman and I loved her."

Mrs. Feild's husband joined Crown Cork and Seal Co. in 1950 as a chemist and in 1957 he was named manager of research. Because of the nature of her husband's work, they moved in 1960 to Maple Glen, Pa., then to Jenkintown, Pa.

In 1970, they moved back to Baltimore and settled on Spring Lake Road in Homeland, then on Murdock Road in Rodgers Forge.

They were very involved in the lives of their nine children and grandchildren and were active in Roman Catholic church parishes and, in recent years, with the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

"Mom was an ever-present loving mommy in my life, from my earliest memories, and a loving Nana to my children, always sending birthday cards and presents that were just so appropriate for their age and interests," a daughter, Rosemary Feild of Philadelphia, wrote in an email. "I love that my children knew and loved her as I did."

Another daughter, MaryAnne Feild Wolff, who lives in Cary, N.C., wrote in an email that "I think it is fair to say that they always did the best that they could for all of us given the circumstances of the moment."

Mrs. Feild encouraged her children not only to succeed, but to be helpers in the community as teachers, health care workers and government employees, family members said.

"We learned responsibility, having chores and getting jobs and earning money early on, paying for our own educations," Rosemary Feild wrote.

An avid gardener, Mrs. Feild was especially good when it came to saving dying plants. She was fond of English gardens and had a library devoted to the subject.

She liked listening to the opera, especially those of Giacomo Puccini. She also enjoyed the waltzes of Johann Strauss as well as the music of Johnny Mathis. She was a fan of classic Hollywood movies.

Mrs. Feild was interested in historic homes and among her favorites were the Alfred I. duPont Nemours Mansion and Gardens in Wilmington, Del., as well as the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, once the home of Henry Francis du Pont, in Winterthur, Del.

She traveled to Mount Vernon, Monticello and Williamsburg on trips sponsored by the Renaissance Institute at Notre Dame of Maryland University. She also enjoyed visiting Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa.

Locally, Mrs. Feild liked visiting homes in Federal Hill, the Carroll Mansion in Southwest Baltimore and Guilford's Sherwood Gardens.

An Anglophile, she was interested in English royalty and Queen Elizabeth II, and read widely about them.

Her husband died in 2013. She was the sister of Albert Sehlstedt Jr., a veteran Baltimore Sun reporter and editor, who died in 2008.

She was a parishioner of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St., where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday.

In addition to her two daughters and niece, Mrs. Feild is survived by three sons, Richard Feild of Perry Hall, Skip Feild of West Chester, Pa., and John Feild of Mesa, Ariz.; four other daughters, Peggy Feild of Baltimore, Lucy Feild of Boston, Betsy Ryan of Erdenheim, Pa., and Cathy Feild Mirch of Fairfax, Va.; a sister, Margaret "Peggy" Sehlstedt, a Maryknoll nun, of Maryknoll, N.Y.; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

frasmussen@baltsun.com

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