Margaret L. “Maggie” Bemrick, former secretary to Baltimore Police Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau, died Friday from complications of a stroke at Lorien Health Care in Bel Air. The longtime Glen Burnie resident was 102.
Margaret Lucille Bemrick was born in Superior, Wis., the daughter of John Bemrick, a shipyard worker, and Mary Bemrick, a homemaker.
She moved with her family to the city’s Brooklyn neighborhood in 1920, and later settled into a house on Fifth Street. She was a 1933 graduate of Southern High School, and family members said that throughout her life she would sing high school songs.
After graduating high school, she worked several years for Catholic Charities. Then, in the early 1950s, she went to work in the city police department’s Southern District, later moving to the Central District.
While she was at Central, Donald D. Pomerleau, commissioner from 1966 to 1981, requested that Miss Bemrick join his staff as one of his three secretaries. She retired in 1981.
After retiring, she volunteered with Meals On Wheels of Central Maryland and in the gift shop at St. Agnes Hospital.
For 18 years, Miss Bemrick lived in Glen Burnie. She was independent-minded, and despite failing eyesight she continued to live alone until she was 101. She played bridge until she became legally blind, and enjoyed listening to talk radio on WBAL-AM and WTOP-AM, among other stations.
“She may have been legally blind, but she was one tough lady,” said her niece, Jo Ann Bemrick Soloway of Edgewood. “When she was growing up, she had five brothers and she was the boss.”
Regarding her longevity, Miss Bemrick followed no particular regimen.
“When she turned 100, people would ask her that question and she’d reply, ‘Irish whiskey,’ ” Mrs. Solloway said. “She really wasn’t a drinker but that was her answer. She never liked the hard stuff and enjoyed a can of beer with lunch or dinner. She never overate and liked a cookie for dessert after dinner and did not smoke.”
“When she lived in Brooklyn, she had a basement, two floors and an attic, and the attic and basement were as clean as the first and second floors,” her niece said. “She liked to say, ‘I just want to wash the Lord’s windows.’ That was her Irish wit.”
Miss Bemrick was a longtime parishioner at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, 3803 Fourth St., Brooklyn, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
In addition to her niece, she is survived by a nephew, Gerald Bemrick of Brooklyn Park; and many grandnieces and grandnephews.
—Frederick N. Rasmussen