Catherine H. 'Kitty' Brent, homemaker, dies

Catherine H. "Kitty" Brent, a homemaker who enjoyed playing bridge and attending Broadway shows, died Sunday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium of congestive heart failure. She was 96.

The daughter of James S. Hebb, a Chesapeake Bay pilot, and Augusta Finn Hebb, a homemaker, Catherine Hebb was born in Baltimore and raised in the city's Lake Montebello neighborhood.


Mrs. Brent — who was known as "Kitty" — was a 1936 graduate of Eastern High School.

In 1945, she married Gilbert F. Strauser, an electrical engineer who worked for Westinghouse Electric International Co.


The couple lived for a time in Tokyo, and while there she served as president of the American Women's Club Group, president of the International Benevolent Society, president of the Community Nursery School and treasurer of the Japan-America Women's Society.

They returned to Scarsdale, N.Y., in 1961 and six years later, moved to Rio de Janeiro, where she was involved in charity work.

As welfare secretary for the Rio de Janeiro Women's Group, she was able to obtain donations to build a girls' dormitory in Nova Iguacu, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. The founder of the orphanage named the dormitory in Mrs. Brent's honor, family members said.

In 1969, the couple moved to Homeland, where she was active in the Three Arts Club of Homeland, serving as its assistant treasurer.

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Her marriage ended in divorce.

A bridge player, she had been chairwoman of the Round Robin Bridge and from 1995 to 1997 was president of the Bridge League of Maryland.

She met William H. Brent, a salesman, at the bridge table. They married in 1999 and moved to Mercy Ridge in Timonium.

In addition to bridge, Mrs. Brent enjoyed attending Broadway shows and was especially fond of the Rockettes. She was a co-author in 1964 with Lucille Evans of "Mah Jong, Anyone?" which is still in print, said her daughter, Caryn Strauser of Timonium.


A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Peaceful Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Center, 2325 York Road, Timonium.

In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by a son, Gilbert E. Strauser Jr. of Towson; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen