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Obituaries

Anne Dankmeyer Hopkins, longtime legal journal editor and Maryland political activist, dies

Anne Dankmeyer Hopkins, former owner and editor of the legal journal American Maritime Cases and an active Baltimore Republican, died of cancer Jan. 5 at her Guilford home. She was 92.

Born in Baltimore City and raised in Guilford, she was the daughter of Theodore Rognald Dankmeyer, a Baltimore maritime lawyer and longtime editor of American Maritime Cases, and Anne Virginia Burrier, a homemaker and legal editor.

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She attended the Robert E. Lee School 49 and was a 1946 Eastern High School graduate. She earned a degree at Goucher College and went on to receive her master’s degree in political science from Penn State University in 1952.

When she returned to Baltimore, she worked for the Maryland Republican Party and was active in the Theodore R. McKeldin wing of the state party from the 1950s through the 1970s.

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“Anne was generous with her time when I was a young lawyer and a young Republican,” said Robert F. Scholz, an attorney and friend. “She had been volunteering since the early 1950s. She brought a centrist point of view and a generosity of spirit. She was a very inclusive person.”

Her niece recalled her demeanor.

“Anne was a pragmatic political person who wanted to get things done for the better,” said her niece Liza Bailey. “She was very can-do and hands-on. She was gracious and formal but was not stiff. She and Sam always had an active living room with a diverse group of people coming to visit.”

“In socializing she always had a ready pot of tea and a plate of cookies,” her niece continued. “She never fell into the habit of being overly casual.”

Mrs. Hopkins’ activities within the state Republican Party involved her in the 1955 Baltimore City mayoral campaign of her future husband Samuel Hopkins, then a Fidelity & Deposit Co. executive who was a young widower with two children.

She and Mr. Hopkins married in October 1955.

They resided in Guilford and raised four sons over the course of their 53-year marriage.

For many decades, she served as managing editor of American Maritime Cases, an admiralty law reporting journal known as AMC among admiralty lawyers worldwide.

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The law journal was founded in 1923 by Emory Niles, a Baltimore attorney and judge. In 1976, following the death of her father who had been a longtime AMC editor, Judge Niles tapped Mrs. Hopkins to take on the publication’s editorial and business leadership.

She worked from her home and maintained a business office on East 21st Street.

“She was a gracious and brilliant editor,” said David J. Farrell Jr., president of the Maritime Law Association of the United States. “She set a great example and she knew all of us maritime lawyers around the country and we thought the world of her.”

She revitalized the publication by modernizing its format and moved the AMC into the digital age.

“My mother established a reputation within the national and international admiralty bar for scrupulous accuracy, thoughtful editing, and a love of the English language as an editor,” said her son, Frederick Matson Hopkins.

Mrs. Hopkins was active in local, state and national civic affairs for many decades.

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She held leadership roles in the successful campaigns of U.S. Sens. Charles McCurdy “Mac” Mathias and J. Glenn Beall Jr. She was vice chair of the presidential committee for the improvement of adult education in the 1970s.

In 1967 she was among the few women elected to serve as a delegate in the Maryland Constitutional Convention, which was convened to modernize the Maryland Constitution.

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Mrs. Hopkins served in leadership roles at the Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland, the Maryland Commission for Women, and the Guilford Association. She was also active in the preservation of Sherwood Gardens.

“Anne was a friend and a mentor,” Ms. Bailey said. “I found her friendship, wisdom and conversations to be truly enriching. Anne had a real appreciation for music and a love for archaeology. We also spent a lot of time talking about gardening.”

Ms. Bailey added: “She was a warm woman with an intellectual curiosity. She could engage with anyone on any topic. She surrounded herself with talented and unique people.”

She and her husband had a summer home on Otter Pond on Gibson Island. She enjoyed the woods, her flowering laurel, the water and family gatherings. She also recalled time spent in Ocean City as a child and said the resort was so small it resembled a village.

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“Anne was thoughtful and bright and interested in what was going on in the world. She loved Baltimore and did a lot for it,“ said her pastor, the Rev. Charles Rowins of St. Christopher-by-the-Sea. “She was an articulate person who followed local, national and world events. She was also a family person and she relished her calls with her grandchildren. Her relationships spanned generations.”

Survivors include her sons, Robert Brooke Hopkins and Frederick Matson Hopkins, both of Baltimore; her stepsons, Samuel Bloodgood Hopkins, also of Baltimore, and Henry Holt Hopkins of Jupiter Island, Florida, and Gibson Island; a sister, Gretchen Edwards of Denver; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Her husband of 53 years died in 2008.

Plans for a memorial service are pending.


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