Amy J. Scherr, a Baltimore lawyer who represented the Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance and was executive secretary and counsel to the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities, died Monday at Symphony Manor assisted living in Roland Park of Alzheimer's disease. The North Roland Park resident was 62.
"My wife and I have gone out socially with Amy and her husband, Jeff, for years, and there was not a more delightful and loving couple than those two," said John F. Fader III, a retired Baltimore County circuit judge.
"Amy was a brilliant lawyer and a very practical person. She was so knowledgeable about so many things," Judge Fader said. "And if you did not know her, you really missed something remarkable and big in life."
"Amy was a real Renaissance woman and a wonderful lawyer," said Sally B. Gold, a family lawyer and longtime friend who worked with Ms. Scherr in the Maryland attorney general's office. "She was such an engaged person, and it was always a pleasure working with her."
The daughter of Dr. Harold Sussman, a surgeon, and Belle A. Sussman, a registered nurse, Amy Jean Sussman was born in Baltimore and raised in Pikesville.
She was a 1969 graduate of Pikesville High School and a 1973 honors graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a bachelor's degree. She was a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, an honors society.
She earned a law degree at the University of Maryland in 1977 and was admitted to the Maryland bar that year.
Throughout her 30-year career as an attorney, Ms. Scherr held many positions with the state of Maryland, including assistant attorney general, and represented the Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance from 1978 to 1996.
Ms. Scherr then served as executive secretary and counsel to the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities. Ms. Scherr was 52 when she was diagnosed in 2004 with early onset Alzheimer's disease and retired the next year.
"I was chair of the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities in the 1990s, and I guess I was her boss. She was our executive secretary and counsel. She was a very warm and outgoing person," said Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. of the Maryland Court of Appeals
"Amy was meticulously thorough and was always well-prepared," Judge Harrell said. "She was very collegial to work with and was always willing to take on any task that we asked her to do."
Louise Michaux Gonzales, a partner in the Baltimore law firm of Hylton & Gonzales, was another longtime friend and colleague.
"When I first came out of law school, I worked with her husband, Jeff, and we all became pretty good friends," Ms. Gonzales said.
"Amy was a combination of being very smart and one of the calmest people I've ever known," she said. "But on a personal basis, she was quietly fierce and was a person with high standards and integrity. Not much rattled Amy, and I really admired that, and when she grabbed hold of a case, she dealt with it."
"Everything Amy did in the AG's office is still remembered. She was a total lawyer," said Ms. Gold. "And she had all of these friends, and no one did not like Amy."
Ms. Scherr was able to combine a busy career with raising a family.
"There was nothing more important to her than her kids, but she was never a smother mother," Ms. Gold said.
Ms. Scherr, who lived in North Roland Park, was very active in the community and had been president of Gan-Yeladim Day Care Center in Baltimore. The Park Heights Avenue child care center later merged with the Jewish Community Center.
Ms. Scherr had been a member of the board of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Jewish Community Center and Jewish Family Services.
She was a member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation.
"She was a passionate patron of the arts, a voracious reader and a world traveler," said her son, Andrew Jacob Scherr of Boston. "She was known for her kind, gentle spirit and was loved deeply by her large circle of family and friends."
Services for Ms. Scherr were held Tuesday at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.
In addition to her son, Ms. Scherr is survived by her husband of 41 years, Jeffrey Scherr, a Baltimore real estate attorney; a daughter, Julia Louise Scherr of New York City; her mother, Belle A. Sussman of Towson; a brother, Jason Sussman of Chicago; a sister, Diane LaSov of Glyndon; and a grandson.