Charlotte Hawtin, a former executive director of downtown Baltimore’s Joseph Richey Hospice, died of early onset dementia Nov. 19 at her Glen Arm home. She was 72.
Born in Richmond Heights, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, she was the daughter of Charles Omohundro, a treasurer of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and his wife, Helen, a department store sales associate. She was a 1964 graduate of Richmond Heights High School. As a teen, she participated in a Miss Richmond Heights charity competition.
She earned a journalism degree at at Drake University, where she was president of the Greek Council and wrote for the university newspaper and yearbook. She also wrote and performed in comic musical reviews.
In 1968 she moved to New York City and found a job as a reporter-researcher at Forbes Magazine. She went on to work as a Forbes foreign correspondent based in London. She was a specialist in energy issues.
She met her future husband, a London Financial Times reporter who later became an Anglican priest, at a London bar frequented by journalists.
“She was slim, svelte and dressed in an exquisitely cut Courreges suit,” the Rev. Guy Hawtin said of their initial meeting. “Despite looking scarcely out of her teens, she was engaged in animated debate with a group of distinguished financial pundits about the future of coal, natural gas and oil production. ... I was immediately smitten.”
They married and moved to Frankfurt, then in West Germany. She did freelance writing for Forbes, the Financial Times and other economic journals. She also served on the board of the Frankfurt International School and was a founder of the Frankfurt English Speaking Theater.
Her biography said that in 1980 she moved to Huntington, Long Island, and continued writing for national and international economic publications as well as editing International Art Market, a magazine that monitored the multimillion-dollar world of art and antiques.
“She became a forensic corporate analyst; she advised companies engaged in takeover bids,” her husband said. “She was financial analyst for News Corp’s bid for Warner Brothers, and she successfully led the fight to save Booker McConnell, the giant British sugar corporation, from a hostile takeover.”
She was also elected to a seat on the Huntington school board.
In 1989, she moved to Maryland when her husband was called to be rector of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Timonium.
She volunteered to write a fundraising newsletter for the Joseph Richey Hospice on North Eutaw Street in downtown Baltimore. She was soon named its communications director and chief financial officer. She retired as executive director in 2014.
She helped raise more than $20 million for the institution, including more than $4 million for Dr. Bob’s Place, a children’s hospice, which opened in 2010.
A 2011 Sun article said that Ms. Hawtin and her board envisioned the children’s hospice as a national model for the care of terminally sick infants and other children and a place of comfort for parents and extended families. It was the second hospice in the state to serve children.
"Most hospices provide care for well-insured suburbanites, " she said. “We were founded for people who are alone and lack an able caregiver. Most of our patients come from the city, but we are licensed in seven Maryland counties.”
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In the article she said she realized it was time to start work on a children’s hospice, a place tailored around a set of special needs. She said she wanted to help parents of premature newborns whose medical conditions are severe and who will not live more than a couple of months. She also wanted to help children who are older and dealing with terminal illnesses.
"We stand in a position to set a national paradigm, " she said in 2011. “I’ve been to England and Canada to see how they do a children’s hospice. We’re building a program that’s never been done here before.”
In her spare time, she volunteered at St. Stephen’s Church and led its Sunday school. She assisted in a Parish Life Committee and its annual fundraisers, the Cookie Walk and the British Garden Party.
In 2018 the congregation honored her work by establishing the Charlotte Hawtin Award to honor women who have made contributions to the parish.
The family will receive visitors Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, 10 W. Padonia Road. A requiem Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Dec. 9 at Saint Stephen Anglican Church, 11856 Mays Chapel Road in Timonium.