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Andre W. Brewster, attorney, land preservationist and racing figure, dies

Andre W. Brewster, attorney, land preservationist and racing figure, dies
Andre Walker Brewster II was a retired managing partner of the old Piper and Marbury law firm and former Johns Hopkins Hospital board chair from Glyndon.

Andre Walker Brewster II, a retired managing partner of the old Piper & Marbury law firm and former Johns Hopkins Hospital board chair, died of cancer Saturday at his Glyndon home. He was 90.

Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Daniel B. Brewster, a World War I veteran, and Ottolie Y.W. Cochran. He attended Gilman School and was a 1943 graduate of St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H.

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Mr. Brewster's family tree included Benjamin Franklin. His late brother was Sen. Daniel B. Brewster.

Mr. Brewster was named for his great-uncle, Medal of Honor winner Maj. Gen. Andre Walker Brewster, who served in China during the Boxer Rebellion. His great-grandfather was Benjamin H. Brewster, who served as attorney general in President Chester A. Arthur's administration.

During World War II, Mr. Brewster enlisted in the Marine Corps and served as a second lieutenant in Guam and China. Family members said he also served in the Korean War and became a Marine Corps Officers Candidate School instructor. He left the military as a first lieutenant.

In 1945, he married Nancy Moffett Peterson. They had been high school friends.

He was a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, and was elected to the Virginia Law Review and the Order of the Coif. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1949.

"He was an extraordinarily amazing individual," said a friend and business associate, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard. "Andre had poise, and his presence commanded respect. He made you feel comfortable and inspired a quiet confidence. He was good at bringing people together."

Mr. Brewster joined the old Venable Baetjer & Howard law firm and worked in the fields of banking and trusts and estates. In 1958, he became a partner at Piper & Marbury.

"In his generation, Andre was involved with and represented many of the major Baltimore corporations and businesses," said Jay Smith, corporate co-chair for DLA Piper. "He was much more than a corporate lawyer. He was epitome of a trusted adviser. He had not only a natural instinct for solving complicated legal issues, but he had impeccable judgment that won the confidence of his clients and opposing counsel."

According to a biographical sketch provided by his family, Mr. Brewster represented numerous Baltimore firms, including Alex. Brown & Sons, Equitable Trust Co., Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Maryland, First National Bank, Monumental Corp., Savings Bank of Baltimore, the Rouse Co., Ryland Group, Sun Life Insurance Co. and Union Trust Co.

Mr. Brewster became managing partner of Piper & Marbury in the 1970s. He officially retired at 71 but kept an office at what is now DLA Piper in Mount Washington.

"He expanded the firm from about 50 lawyers to 350 lawyers in several major cities," said his son, Andre Walker Brewster Jr. of San Francisco.

Mr. Brewster was a former trustee of the Johns Hopkins University and of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and served as chairman of Hopkins Hospital's board from 1981 to 1986.

"He was a distinguished attorney who helped us think through the creation of Johns Hopkins Health Systems Corp.," said Ronald R. Peterson, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System. "He was an important player at a time when we were becoming more business-like. He helped us consider important transactions."

Family members said Mr. Brewster was a sportsman who hunted, fished and played golf. He also owned steeplechase horses, including winners Buck Jakes and Bubble Economy.

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He worked to keep sections of the Baltimore area free of development. He was a founder and board member of Baltimore County's Land Preservation Trust.

"When about 200 acres between Cuba and Falls roads were offered for sale in the 1990s, Andre led the effort to buy the land that is Shawan Downs today," said Charles Fenwick, a friend and Maryland horseman. "I always had tremendous respect for his judgment, whether it be business, personal or in common horse sense."

Mr. Brewster was a founder and a former secretary of the Caves Valley Golf Club in Baltimore County. Friends said he wanted a first-rate golf course and to preserve an unspoiled tract.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane in Owings Mills.

In addition to his son and his wife of 70 years, a horticulturist who has written on plants and shrubs, survivors include two daughters, Nancy Brewster Paternotte of Baltimore and Wickes Brewster MacColl of Boise, Idaho; a brother, Walter Wickes Brewster of Lutherville; a half sister, Frances Cochran Smith of Lutherville; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

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