Walter W. Brewster, a retired Alex. Brown & Sons stockbroker, conservationist and sportsman who enjoyed fox hunting, died of a cerebral hemorrhage Sept. 8 at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. The Lutherville resident was 90.
“Walter had tremendous loyalty to his clients and Alex. Brown,” said A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, former CEO of Alex. Brown & Sons. “We had a very simple program at Brown, the client is first, the firm second, and you third, and he epitomized that. He was a person who was honest as the day is long.”
Walter Wickes Brewster, the son of Daniel Baugh Brewster Sr., vice president of the Fidelity Trust Co., and Ottolie Young Wickes Brewster Cochran, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore. One of five children, he was raised at Fernwood on Greenspring Valley Road and at the adjoining property, Wickcliffe, now Maryvale Preparatory School in Lutherville, that was built by his grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Walter Wickes.
He was also a descendant of Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Harris Brewster, his great-grandfather, who was U.S. attorney general from 1881 to 1885, during the administration of President Chester A. Arthur.
Mr. Brewster graduated in 1950 from Gilman School where he was captain of the wrestling team. Three years later, he married the former Margaret Rennert Perkins, whose paternal grandfather, Robert Rennert, was the founder in 1885 of the old Rennert Hotel, a noted Baltimore hostelry on North Liberty Street.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in 1954 from the University of Virginia, Mr. Brewster served in the Army and was stationed in Germany. Discharged from the Army, he and his wife purchased a 130-acre farm in Glyndon, which they named Milestone Farm after collecting approximately 25 milestones around the house. They remained in the home until 2001 when they sold the farm and built a new home on Butler Road, which they named The Covert.
Mr. Brewster began his business career at Baugh & Sons Co., a producer and distributor of phosphate fertilizer and agricultural chemicals that was affiliated with the Baugh Chemical Co. of Baltimore.
In 1967, he joined Alex. Brown & Sons, where he was a stockbroker and chaired the firm’s charitable foundation. He retired in 2000.
“He always put you ahead of himself, and he always delivered more than he promised,” Mr. Krongard said. “He’d say, ‘Well, I don’t think I’m qualified for that,’ but every job he did, Walter really delivered and he’d do anything to help you.”
The two friends were also steady luncheon companions and enjoyed fox hunting and horseback riding together.
“Whenever I was in town, Walter and I would have lunch everyday at the Merchants Club or in some hamburger joint and he’d order the same thing which was just a hamburger, no pickle, and dessert,” Mr. Krongard said. “He was a huge dessert fan.”
In addition to Mr. Brewster overseeing Alex. Brown’s charitable foundation, the Brewsters established a Brewster family fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation and donated to schools and organizations such as Gilman School, the University of Virginia, St. John’s Episcopal Church – Western Run Parish, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Glyndon, Shawan Downs and Baltimore Museum of Art, family members said.
Mr. Brewster, who was a fox hunting and timber racing enthusiast throughout his life, had been master of the Green Spring Valley Hounds in Baltimore County just as his father and grandfather had before him. He also served as hunt secretary, treasurer and president.
In 1948, he completed the Triple Crown of Maryland’s steeplechase races aboard his horse Clifton Dan. He finished second in the My Lady’s Manor, fourth in the Grand National, and third in the Maryland Hunt Cup.
He served for 30 years on the Grand National race committee, which he led for many years. Additionally, he served for 25 years as a member of the Maryland Hunt Cup committee and was a founding member in 1997 of Shawan Downs in Hunt Valley, which is home to an equestrian center and a steeplechase course.
He continued to mow Shawan Downs with his tractor well into his 80s, family members said.
For his lifetime of service to Maryland’s steeplechase racing, Mr. Brewster was recognized with the S. Bryce Wing Award in 2013, the state’s highest steeplechase racing honor.
His wife, who died in 2013, was also a competitive horsewoman, who in 1978 won the grueling annual Green Spring Old Fashion, riding John Vale, her horse.
“He also frequently expressed his gratitude and appreciation through small acts of kindness to friends and strangers with a smile, story, kind word, joke and even a chocolate éclair,” according to a biographical profile submitted by his family.
“First of all, you couldn’t have a better friend than Walter Brewster,” Krongard said.
“He professed to be shy, but he was a great raconteur who told fun and great entertaining stories,” said a nephew, Gerry L. Brewster, whose father, Daniel Baugh Brewster, a former U.S. senator, was Mr. Brewster’s brother. He died in 2007.
Mr. Brewster was still pursuing a vigorous lifestyle, visiting a son in August at his Vermont farm and a daughter and her family on Mount Desert Island, Maine, where he “enjoyed the time on the water, eating lobsters and working puzzles,” according to the biographical profile.
Since 2012, Mr. Brewster had lived at the Brightview Retirement Community in Lutherville, and was a member of the Elkridge Club and a former member of the Maryland Club and Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.
He enjoyed reading, travel and collecting coins and stamps.
Mr. Brewster was a communicant of St. John’s Church Western Run Parish, 3738 Butler Road, Reisterstown, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 21.
He is survived by his two sons, Walter Wickes Brewster Jr. of Carbondale, Colorado, and David Bryant Brewster of Halifax, Vermont; a daughter, Marnie Brewster Phillips of Weston, Massachusetts; a sister, Frances Cochran Smith of Lutherville; two grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and his loving partner, Christine “Teenie” Hayworth of Kiawah Island, South Carolina.