Timmerman Daugherty, lawyer, artist and women's rights actvist, dies

Timmerman “Timmie” Daugherty, a retired Maryland attorney who became a ceramics artist and advocated women’s rights, died of complications of flu and heart disease on Oct. 8 at her Miami Beach, Fla., home. The former Charles Village resident was 76.

Susan Timmerman Fagans was born in Basking Ridge, N.J., the daughter of Helen Sue Bruckner, a scientist, and Philip Fagans, an insurance broker.

She recalled her favorite childhood memory: Her mother reading “Stories the Iroquois Told Their Children,” a book about nature, its spirits and people, written by Mabel Powers.

“My thrifty Quaker parents taught me the value of repairing and recycling,” she said in a 2001 article in The Baltimore Sun. “I love to recycle abandoned items and give them new life by deconstructing and reconstructing them into totally new creations."

She received degrees at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and the University of Baltimore School of Law.

She moved to Maryland in the late 1960s and became a teacher and senior class adviser at Hannah More Academy in Reisterstown. She lived in Glencoe in a former Pennsylvania Railroad station.

“She loved teaching and maintained some lifelong friendships with many of her students,” said her son, Rick Tepel, who lives in the Hollywood community of St. Mary’s County.

She worked for a time as an attorney in Lexington Park. A 1982 article in The Sun described those days, reporting that “Timmie Daugherty is one of those people who revels in being able to handle a ton of work while somehow making it look ridiculously simple. She sailed through the University of Baltimore Law School, for example, holding down three jobs. She worked at Legal Aid as a clerk, sold real estate and taught a course in real estate law at Towson State University.”

She also practiced family law in St. Mary's County, where she was active in supporting feminism and women’s rights.

She helped create a women’s shelter in Southern Maryland, and taught a course, “Women and the Law,” at St. Mary’s College. She was elected president of the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations.

In a 1986 interview in The New York Times regarding women over the age of 40 becoming attorneys, she stated: “Having a few gray hairs gives a lawyer credibility.”

Ms. Daugherty was also editor of a weekly newspaper, The Tide.

“The county had an established paper and she and wanted to give St. Mary’s a second voice,” said her daughter, Amy Tepel of Morrison, Colo.

She developed a friendship with Alger Hiss, the 1940s State Department figure accused of giving classified documents to the Soviet Union. She interviewed Mr. Hiss for a book she planned to write.

Ms. Daugherty moved to Baltimore in 1989 and lived in the 2900 block of Guilford Avenue. She opened her home and garden to public tours.

“Even on the bleakest day, a garden touched by Baltimore artist Timmerman Daugherty is joyously ablaze,” said The Sun’s 2001 story, which described her as an attorney turned mosaic artist. “[Her works] speak of her bold sense of color and texture; her respect for, and playful reinterpretation of nature.”

Ms. Daugherty placed a mosaic glass fountain in her garden.

“She loved nature and it inspired her. When we lived in St. Mary’s County on the Patuxent River she walked on the beach and picked up sharks’ teeth,” said her son.

Ms. Daugherty suffered the effects of a 1998 auto accident, her daughter said. “The whiplash exacerbated her rheumatoid arthritis.”

“After her accident she couldn’t go hiking and she took up her art and developed an interest in mosaic art and sculpture,” added her son.

She gradually gave up her law practice, and exhibited works at the American Visionary Arts Museum. In an interview at the museum, she said she walked the alleys of Charles Village with her dog and picked up objects she incorporated in her art. She also said her creative pursuits offered relief from her chronic pain.

She moved from her Charles Village home and settled in Florida more than a decade ago. She continued to own dogs and was devoted to a chihuahua mix named Georgia.

A private memorial party will be held Dec. 9 at her Miami Beach home.

In addition to her son and daughter, survivors include two grandchildren; and a grand nephew. Her marriages ended in divorce.


Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad