Aileen McCausey

Artist and writer was ac­com­plished sto­ry­teller, fo­cus­ing on her na­tive Scot­land

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES | NATION - By John-John Wil­liams IV john-john.wil­liams@balt­

Aileen Abi­gail Camp­bell McCausey, a health care provider, au­thor and artist, died Aug. 22 at In­te­grace Fairhaven in Sykesville af­ter an al­ler­gic reaction to med­i­ca­tion. She was 98.

Mrs. McCausey was one of three chil­dren. She was born and grew up in the north of Scot­land on the es­tates of Bra­han Cas­tle, where her father was the head gar­dener. Her mother was a do­mes­tic ser­vant who made her home on the es­tate as well.

Mrs. McCausey got her first taste of the arts when she stud­ied art and po­etry with James Pit­ten­drigh Macgillivray, the painter and sculp­tor to the royal fam­ily.

She be­came a nurse at the Royal In­fir­mary in Perth and served at the Royal In­fir­mary in Ed­in­burgh dur­ing World War II. She also worked at a chil­dren’s hospi­tal, where she was em­ployed as a dis­trict nurse. It was dur­ing her time in the United King­dom that she met her fu­ture hus­band, John Dearie, who was in the Royal Air Force.

The cou­ple im­mi­grated to On­tario, Canada, in 1947 be­fore mov­ing a few months later to Washington, D.C. The fam­ily set­tled in Columbia.

She be­gan work­ing at Ge­orge­town Univer­sity Hospi­tal. In 1963 she went back to school to re­ceive her cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Nurse Mid­wifery at the School of Hy­giene at the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity. She worked as a nurse-mid­wife and reg­is­tered nurse un­til 1985.

“Momwas a won­der­ful hu­man be­ing and a mag­nif­i­cent woman who lived an amazing life,” said her son, Doug Dearie, who lives in Bowie. “She lived life to the fullest. And she taught all those who were watch­ing how to age with grace.”

Af­ter her di­vorce from her first hus­band, Mrs. McCausey moved to El­li­cott City.

It was her love of Scot­tish cul­ture that led her to meet her sec­ond hus­band, Bert McCausey, a news­pa­per­man at The Bal­ti­more Sun.

The two met at a Scot­tish dance gath­er­ing.

“They hit it off,” Mr. Dearie said. “He was a col­or­ful char­ac­ter. He was a fine man.”

Fol­low­ing her hus­band’s death in the early 1990s, she be­gan to ex­pand her creative pur­suits.

She moved to Wood­stock, Va. She worked at Ging­ham Cot­tage, an art gallery in New Mar­ket, Va. For close to two decades. Mrs. McCausey wrote five books and cre­ated art­work while liv­ing in Wood­stock, Va.

“She had quite an ac­tive life in the Shenan­doah Val­ley,” Mr. Dearie said.

Mrs. McCausey was also known for her sto­ry­telling abil­ity.

She would go to High­land gath­er­ings through­out the coun­try where she would per­form dra­matic read­ings from her books.

Mr. Dearie fondly re­mem­bers his mother and his late Aunt “Ara” sit­ting around re­count­ing tales of their child­hood and life in Scot­land “in their gor­geous Scot­tish ac­cents,” he said. “They were both won­der­ful storytellers.”

Through her books and art­work, Mrs. McCausey was able to share her love of her Scot­tish cul­ture, com­pas­sion and wis­dom to every per­son she en­coun­tered, ac­cord­ing to Mr. Dearie.

“She was the kind of in­di­vid­ual that you could never for­get, whether you only met her once or you were lucky enough to spend time with her every day. She was never too busy to talk about any­thing and ev­ery­thing, some­times even break­ing out into song mid­way through a con­ver­sa­tion,” he said. “She made you feel im­por­tant and cared about, show­ing gen­uine in­ter­est in ev­ery­thing you do and say.”

In 2009, she moved to Sykesville to be closer to fam­ily.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 24 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 7538 Main St., in Sykesville.

In ad­di­tion to her son, Mrs. McCausey is sur­vived by a daugh­ter, Cherry DearieSmith, of Eas­ton; two other sons, Ste­wart Dearie, of Sykesville, and John William Dearie, of Wor­thing­ton, Mass.; seven grand­chil­dren and nine great-grand­chil­dren.

Aileen Camp­bell McCausey met her sec­ond hus­band at a Scot­tish dance gath­er­ing.

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