Anne Black Evans, a respected and successful fundraiser who served both high schools and a college, died of dementia complications Feb. 7 at Symphony Manor Assisted Living and Memory Care in Roland Park. The former Pinehurst resident was 84.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Blenheim Road in Pinehurst, she was the daughter of Robert Wilmer Black Sr., an accountant, and his wife, Gertrude Henn, a homemaker.
She was known as “Shiny,” a nickname coined by her father, who often commented on her “shiny" black eyes. “Her mother, Gertrude, made the name official when they were shellacking the wooden floors of their Pinehurst home, and my mother, a toddler, accidentally got shellac in her dark hair,” said her son, Middleton Evans. “This rest is history.”
She was a 1954 graduate of Friends School. Her son said she was a “social butterfly” involved in sports and cheerleading and was the yearbook editor. She spent her summers waitressing at Ocean Grove, New Jersey.
She spent a year at Northwestern University and transferred to Cornell University, where she met a future husband, Bill McDonald. The marriage was short-lived.
She returned to Baltimore and lived with her parents on Park Avenue in Mount Vernon, taking a job in the millinery department at the Hutzler Brothers Department Store on Howard Street.
“She stepped onto an elevator [at the store] one fateful day and caught the eye of a handsome IBM salesman, Bob Evans,” said her son. “After a brief courtship, Shiny and Bob wed in November 1959 at the Church of the Redeemer.”
Mrs. Evans completed her college degree at what is now Towson University and raised her family.
“My father was then building his computer services business, DP Associates, and my mother felt a call to service, and like many of her friends, joined the Junior League of Baltimore,” her son said.
She was a Planned Parenthood volunteer and joined the Women’s Club of Roland Park, She also made fudge for the Flower Mart.
In 1979 took a job in the development office at McDonogh School.
“Shiny was the grande dame of fundraising,” said William C. Mules, the school’s former headmaster. “Until she arrived, we were an amateur operation in that field.”
He also said, “She knew how to entertain. She knew what was important. She knew how to treat the donors right.”
In her 18 years at the school, she was its major gifts officer.
“One of her favorite assignments was to keep a close watch on Beale Rollins, a 1915 graduate who now lived on campus, as a major supporter of the school,” her son said. “He was an elderly man now with limited mobility, and my mother drove him all over campus in a golf cart.”
The school’s former alumni director, John Sieverts, said, "Shiny figured out early on that fundraising was all about the relationship, and very much a long-term process.”
Her son said that Ms. Evans had a fundraising philosophy.
"My mother would say, ‘People give to people as much as they give to institutions.’ "
Mrs. Evans helped bring the school’s development office into the modern computer age.
“When she arrived in 1979, annual giving history was tracked on 3x5 index cards,” her son said. “She seized on a golden opportunity and brought her husband, Bob, into the act.”
He said she worked in gift tracking that created a donor database via the mainframe computers of her husband’s data processing company.
After leaving McDonogh, she worked in development at Oldfields School and Loyola University Maryland, where she worked with the Rev. Joseph Sellinger for several years as a development director. From 2001 to 2005 she served on the board of Villa Julie College in Stevenson.
As a volunteer, she also worked for Friends School. “She worked closely with Byron Forbush, the former headmaster, and helped position the school for a solid financial footing," her son said.
Ms. Evans served on the Friends School steering committees for capital campaigns for more than 30 years and was an honorary chair of a successful 2016 effort to renovate the school auditorium.
She and her husband were donors to McDonogh School, the Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland Historical Society and the Church of the Redeemer. She and her husband also underwrote a bronze memorial plaque to McDonogh alumnus Henry A. Rosenberg Jr.
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Mrs. Evans was also the marketing director for Middleton Press, a publisher of her son’s books related to Maryland’s cultural and natural history. She also helped sell 21 editions of the “Maryland: America in Miniature” calendar series.
She and her husband spent time at their Eastern Shore home, Rigby Lot, near St. Michaels.
Mrs. Evans was a member of the L’Hirondelle Club and enjoyed attending concerts at Pier 6 and the Joseph Meyerhoff Hall. She was a dog fancier.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 22 at the the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles Street.
In addition to her son, survivors include a daughter, Sally Yost of Pinehurst in North Baltimore; a sister, Marilyn Nuttle of Cockeysville; and three grandchildren. Her husband of 60 years died in 2019.