Dr. Mary S. Roberts
Dr. Mary S. Roberts (Handout)

Dr. Mary S. Roberts, a retired Baltimore psychiatrist who was also an obstetrician-gynecologist, died Nov. 19 from mesothelioma at her home in the Warrington Condominiums in Guilford. She was 86.

The former Mary Shams was born and raised in Nain, Iran. She graduated from the University of Tehran in 1959 and was at the top of her medical class.


“The Shah of Iran awarded her a funded scholarship to obtain postgraduate training anywhere in the world, and she chose Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,” said her husband of 57 years, Dr. Paul Roberts, a retired psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who trained at what is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

After completing a residency at Johns Hopkins, she operated a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology for several years.

Margaret Knott Riehl, a philanthropist and past Catholic Charities board chair who was an accomplished squash player, died Friday after a series of strokes at Sinai Hospital. She was 84 and had homes in Towson and Easton.

Following the birth of her second child, Dr. Roberts entered Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital and completed training in adult and child psychiatry. For more than 40 years, until retiring in 2014, she maintained a practice on North Charles Street.

When she was younger, she ran five miles a day and took physical training at the Meadow Mill Athletic Club in Woodberry.

Dr. Roberts was an accomplished seamstress, knitter and needlepoint artisan. Family members said she was an excellent cook and enjoyed hosting dinner parties.

An enthusiastic world traveler and collector of contemporary art, she supported art museums and was a member of the Art Seminar Group.

Dr. Roberts left her remains to the State Anatomy Board and requested that no funeral services be held.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Philip Roberts of Tuscany-Canterbury; two sisters, Azy Faghihifar of Dallas, and Soroya Shams of Tehran; and a grandson.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen