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Ruth B. Gans, legislative aide

Ruth B. Gans, who had worked in Annapolis as a legislative aide and later for several state agencies, died Jan. 20 of a brain tumor and pneumonia at the Bellhaven Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing Care in Brookhaven, N.Y.

The Fells Point resident was 76.

The daughter of a manufacturer's representative and a homemaker, Ruth Bogart was born in New York City and moved with her family in 1943 to a home on Oswego Avenue in the Park Heights neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore.

She was a 1953 graduate of Forest Park High School. Three years later, she married Lanny Rubin.

"She moved to Philadelphia with her husband, and while he attended medical school, she worked for the Air Force and went to college later in life," said a son, Keith Bogart, an actor and director who lives in Topanga Canyon, Calif.

Her marriage to Dr. Rubin, a Baltimore podiatrist, ended in divorce.

She earned a bachelor's degree in public administration and a master's in art administration, both from the University of Baltimore.

An insatiable fan of politics and political campaigns, she worked during the 1970s as a legislative aide to Baltimore County Del. E. Theodore Levin.

She later held positions with the Maryland Department of the Environment, Department of Social Services and the Department of Budget and Management.

Mrs. Gans also had worked for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and the former University of Maryland Downtown Baltimore Center.

She retired in 2003.

"Ruth Bogart Gans was a wonderfully bright, interested and involved person," said former state Sen. Julian L. "Jack" Lapides.

"She was politically a liberal, which to her was a proud word, not the pejorative it has now become to … some these days. She loved being defined as a liberal," he said. "She was very committed to liberal candidates and politicians throughout the country."

Mrs. Gans was a veteran of numerous political campaigns, local and national.

"She was a hard worker, and if she believed in your cause, she was totally devoted to you," recalled Mr. Lapides.

"She was larger than life and loved discussing politics and world issues. She was a very independent woman who raised her three children on her own after her divorce," said Sharon Bondroff, a longtime friend and former Bolton Hill neighbor who now lives in Portland, Maine. "She could walk into a bar full of strangers and start chatting them up."

Another longtime friend was Cheryl Deutsch, a former reporter who had worked for WJZ-TV and with Mrs. Gans at the University of Maryland.

"Ruth was entertainingly outspoken and she loved politics," said Ms. Deutsch. "She had a great deal of insight, and while she was liberal, she could be conservative at times. She had her political likes and dislikes, and she let you know it."

For years, Mrs. Gans met weekly with several reporters and City Hall politicians and staffers at the old House of Welsh on Guilford Avenue to discuss politics and current events over food and drinks.

"The reason we met there was because it was halfway between The Sun and City Hall," recalled former Baltimore Sun reporter Mike Bowler.

She was a member of the Mount Royal Democratic Club and the Baltimore Democratic Forum.

A resident of Henderson's Wharf in Fells Point for the last seven years, Mrs. Gans was an avid painter. She worked in oils creating landscape and abstract paintings.

"Ruth was a wonderful hostess and cook. She loved entertaining and having parties for her wide circle of friends," said Ms. Bondroff. "And her home on Bolton Hill was very elegant."

"She will be remembered for her intelligence, wit, independence and great passion for politics," said Mr. Bogart.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Gallery Room at Henderson's Wharf, 1000 Fell St., Fells Point.

Also surviving are her husband of 20 years, Hilary W. Gans Jr., a retired banker; another son, Bradley C. Rubin of Ridge, N.Y.; a daughter, Cynthia B. Rubin of New York City; two brothers, Andrew H. Bogart of Baltimore and S. David Bogart of New York City; and a stepson, Hilary W. Gans 3rd of Palo Alto, Calif.

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