Kay Hogan, Fells Point activist, dies

Shirley Anna “Kay” Hogan, who led a Fells Point community association, died of heart failure and kidney disease complications Nov. 13 at Roland Park Place. She was 90 and had lived in Belt’s Landing on Fell Street.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was the the daughter of Max Kalish, a tailor who made men’s suits, and his wife, Tova, a homemaker and cook.

She was a 1948 graduate of Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, where she was a cheerleader. She obtained a bachelor’s degree at Hunter College and had a master's degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

She married Edward A. Hogan, who worked with U.S. AID, which supported African and Far Eastern countries. She accompanied him on his foreign postings and taught in American schools, including one she established in Nairobi, Kenya.

When she returned to Washington, she administered a Middle East student-recruitment program for the nonprofit Amideast.

After her first husband’s death in 1987, she married Lewis Diuguid, a Baltimore-born journalist who worked for the old Baltimore News-Post and was later a Washington Post bureau chief in Buenos Aires and assistant editor on the paper’s foreign desk.

“We met through mutual friends at a party in Washington,” said her husband. “I arrived showing my Baltimore roots — with a six-pack of National Premium beer.”

Her husband also said: “She would not reveal her true age to me until after I proposed marriage. She was seven years older, which took me by surprise. With her power of persuasion she asked me not to tell people. I kept it a secret until her 90th birthday.”

After their marriage in 1996, they moved to Baltimore and lived in Fells Point. They learned about the neighborhood through mutual friend Robert Keith, another journalist who had written a history of the Baltimore harbor.

“I brought her to Baltimore, which she had only driven through on her runs up to Brooklyn and New York from Washington. … We landed in Fells Point,” her husband said. “She immediately fell in love with Fells Point and led a committee to renovate the only park in the immediate neighborhood.

“She also worked with the Preservation Society, and was a persuasive advocate and convinced anyone she could to be a docent for the society — including me,” he added. “It was a chore most people didn’t want. She wouldn’t let anybody loose. If she got a chance to corner you, she’d make a docent of you. She was a strong personality.”

Ms. Hogan became president the Preservation Society of Federal Hill and Fell's Point and for a decade headed its annual Mother's Day House Tour. She recruited homeowners to open their residences.

She also was active in the Fells Point Residents Association, the Friends of Thames Street Park. Friends said she attended City Council hearings and was a voice for the community regarding real estate and other developments proposals. She and her husband received Selfless Community Service Awards in 2008.

Ms. Hogan was an accomplished cook and often entertained while she lived overseas.

“In those years it was almost considered essential that the wife, though unpaid, would be expected to support her husband,” said Mr. Diuguid. “She was an excellent foreign service wife. And in later years, she never saw a cookbook she would not buy. She had the ability to follow a recipe well.

“She had a lovely smile. She was very small. I think occasionally she claimed to be 5-foot-2, eyes of blue,” her husband said. “She was a tremendous knitter. I can go two weeks to dinner here at Roland Park Place and wear a different sweater every day. I must have 10 of them. And they’re well-knit, I can tell you.”

She enjoyed playing tennis. “It was a gentle lady’s tennis,” her husband said.

A memorial gathering will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Bertha’s Restaurant, 734 South Broadway.

In addition to her husband of 22 years, survivors include his three daughters, Laura Johnson and Martha Diuguid, both of Richmond, Va. and Carol Diuguid of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and four grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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