Mary Virginia 'Ginny' Mudd, active in Republican politics

Mary Virginia "Ginny" Mudd, who had been active in Baltimore County Republican politics and served on the board of the historic Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Towson, died March 7 of pneumonia at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

The longtime Lutherville resident was 86.

The daughter of a Methodist minister and a homemaker, Mary Virginia Battle was born in Tuscumbia, Ala.

"They moved all over northern Alabama, where her father opened new churches every three years," said a daughter, Mary Virginia "Ginger" Mudd Galvez, a Baltimore writer who lives in Guilford.

Mrs. Mudd was living in Birmingham when she graduated from Ramsay High School in 1943.

She attended Birmingham-Southern College for a few years, and was working as a nurse's aide when she met her future husband, Charles Burke "Chuck" Mudd Sr., a B-25 pilot who had just returned after flying 51 missions in the Pacific Theater.

"They married in 1945, and then the war ended," said Ms. Galvez. "They then moved to Towson and my father went to Hopkins, where he studied engineering."

While her husband was at college, Mrs. Mudd worked as the switchboard operator at Harry T. Campbell & Sons until the birth of her first child in 1948, when she stopped working to raise her family.

"She was a war bride when she came here, and I always thought she was a great source of Towson history. She was very special that way," said Carolyn Parker Knott, who is president of the board of Pleasant Hill Cemetery, which was established on York Road in Towson in 1892.

Mrs. Mudd served on the board of trustees of Pleasant Hill Cemetery for a decade, and for the past five had continued to serve as a director emeritus.

"Ginny fit the bill. On the board, she always represented a balanced and productive view," said Ms. Knott. "She had been our corporate secretary and even gave tours of the cemetery. She'd stuff envelopes. She'd do anything."

Ms. Knott described her as being "fun, engaged and vivacious. She was a person with a quick wit and an infectious laugh. She was gentle but no-nonsense."

"She worked hard to protect the beauty and integrity of the space," said Ms. Galvez, who serves on the board.

Mrs. Mudd was also very active in Republican politics in Baltimore County and was a member of the Republican Women of Baltimore County. She also volunteered as an election poll worker for years.

"My mother was a very independent person but at the same time had very high standards," said Ms. Galvez.

"She had a great interest in politics and was conservative. There was never any doubt about that," her daughter said. "She was always writing letters to elected officials. She had very strong opinions."

"She'd get with the Catholics and go to Washington and march in the annual Walk for Life pro-life march," said Ms. Galvez.

Mrs. Mudd enjoyed cooking for family and friends and giving parties. She was especially known for her Southern cooking, homemade yeast rolls, spoon bread, and coconut and caramel cakes.

"Everyone in the family had such high regard for her as did people in the community," said Angela T. Carrigan, the oldest grandchild, who lives in Clarksburg, Montgomery County. "She was an extremely social person who knew how to make people feel comfortable.

"She could be a force to be reckoned with. I remember when my mother gave her an apron that said, 'This is no ordinary housewife you're dealing with.'"

Mrs. Mudd maintained an elaborate correspondence with family and friends and also enjoyed writing limericks.

"She was an excellent letter writer. One of the things I remember when I was growing up was that when her letters arrived, it was an event. We'd pass them from one to another," said Susan Battle Reed Cercone, a niece who lives in Newman, Ga.

Mrs. Mudd was fond of stray cats and dogs, which she'd take in and raise in her home.

She was an active supporter of the Maryland SPCA, the American Humane Society and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.

Mrs. Mudd was a former member of the Johns Hopkins Club, Three Arts Club of Homeland and the Engineering Society of Baltimore, where she had been active with its auxiliary. She also had been a member of the Renaissance Institute of Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Her husband, who had been a prominent structural engineer, died in 1998.

Mrs. Mudd had been a member of Grace United Methodist Church for years. In recent years, she had been a member of Towson United Methodist Church, 501 Hampton Lane, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Mudd is survived by four sons, Charles B. Mudd Jr. of McLean, Va., Edward R. Mudd of Rodgers Forge, John B. Mudd of Parkville and David H. Mudd of Madison, Wis.; another daughter, Anne-Stuart Darrell of the Charlesbrooke neighborhood of Baltimore County; a brother, Thomas M. Battle of Birmingham; two sisters, Martha B. Davies of Birmingham and Blanche B. Reed of Newman, Ga.; 10 other grandchildren; and a great-grandson.