Mar­garet Bem­rick, po­lice chief’s sec­re­tary

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - — Fred­er­ick N. Ras­mussen

Mar­garet L. “Mag­gie” Bem­rick, former sec­re­tary to Bal­ti­more Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Don­ald D. Pomer­leau, died Fri­day at Lorien Health Care in Bel Air from com­pli­ca­tions of a stroke. The long­time Glen Burnie res­i­dent was 102

Mar­garet Lu­cille Bem­rick was born in Su­pe­rior, Wis., the daugh­ter of John Bem­rick, a shipyard worker, and Mary Bem­rick, a home­maker.

She moved with her fam­ily to the city’s Brook­lyn neigh­bor­hood in 1920, and later set­tled into a house on Fifth Street. She was a 1933 grad­u­ate of South­ern High School, and fam­ily mem­bers said that through­out her life she would sing high school songs.

After grad­u­at­ing from high school, she worked sev­eral years for Catholic Char­i­ties. Then, in the early 1950s, she went to work in the city Po­lice Depart­ment’s South­ern District, later mov­ing to the Cen­tral District.

While she was at Cen­tral, Don­ald D. Pomer­leau, com­mis­sioner from 1966 to 1981, re­quested that Miss Bem­rick join his staff as one of his three sec­re­taries. She re­tired in 1981.

After re­tir­ing, she vol­un­teered with Meals On Wheels of Cen­tral Mary­land and in the gift shop at St. Agnes Hospi­tal.

For 18 years, Miss Bem­rick lived in Glen Burnie. She was in­de­pen­dent-minded, and de­spite fail­ing eyesight she con­tin­ued to live alone un­til she was 101. She played bridge un­til she be­came legally blind, and en­joyed lis­ten­ing to talk ra­dio on WBAL-AM and WTOP-AM, among other sta­tions.

“She may have been legally blind, but she was one tough lady,” said her niece, Jo Ann Bem­rick Soloway of Edge­wood.. “When she was grow­ing up, she had five broth­ers and she was the boss.” Re­gard­ing her longevity, Miss Bem­rick fol­lowed no par­tic­u­lar reg­i­men.

“When she turned 100, peo­ple would ask her that ques­tion and she’d re­ply, ‘ Ir­ish whiskey,’ ” Mrs. Sol­loway said. “She re­ally wasn’t a drinker but that was her an­swer. She never liked the hard stuff and en­joyed a can of beer with lunch or dinner. She never over­ate and liked a cookie for dessert after dinner and did not smoke.”

“When she lived in Brook­lyn, she had a base­ment, two floors and an at­tic, and the at­tic and base­ment were as clean as the first and sec­ond floors,” her niece said. “She liked to say, ‘ I just want to wash the Lord’s win­dows.’ That was her Ir­ish wit.”

Miss Bem­rick was a long­time parish­ioner at St. Rose of Lima Ro­man Catholic Church, 3803 Fourth St., Brook­lyn, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be of­fered at 12:30 p.m. to­day.

In ad­di­tion to her niece, she is sur­vived by a nephew, Ger­ald Bem­rick of Brook­lyn Park; and many grand­nieces and grand­nephews.

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