Barbara McCormick Stevens, who operated a financial services business and wrote a history of the Homeland neighborhood, died of cancer June 28 at Mercy Ridge in Timonium. The former Purlington Way resident was 88.
Born in Baltimore, she was the daughter of Marie Heuisler and Edward Augustus McCormick. She grew up in an extended family on Saint Albans Way and graduated in 1952 from Eden Hall Convent of the Sacred Heart in Torresdale, Pennsylvania. She was a debutante who was introduced to the Baltimore Bachelors Cotillon in 1952.
Mrs. Stevens met her future husband, James W. Stevens Jr., while attending St. Mary’s School. He became an official of the old Equitable Trust Company.
She joined the Rouse Company at its offices on Saratoga Street in downtown Baltimore.
“She loved this job,” said her son Mark Turner Stevens. “She spoke enthusiastically about her role in assisting with data collection for Rouse’s development projects, including being on the plane doing site surveys from the air!”
In the late 1970s, she and a friend, Lynn Lafferty, founded Lybra Ltd., a financial management firm for individuals and nonprofit organizations.
When her business partner left the company, she changed her name to Stevens Management.
“It was a big problem because there were few female entrepreneurs who didn’t have the privilege of going to college,” said her son James Scott Stevens. “A notable client was the Blue Book, Baltimore’s Society Visiting List, which she edited for many years.”
In 1976 she wrote “History and Heritage of the Fatherland”.
“One of the most remarkable features of La Patrie is the series of ornamental ponds or basins, formerly fed by a spring, which Perine had dug in 1843. Their original use was to supply the estate with water as well as ‘into ice, which was cut and stored for use during the summer months,’ said a Sun article from 2002, when the book was reprinted.
“Mom was the most amazing role model. She was smart, determined, forward-thinking and provided unconditional love,” said her daughter, Paula Stevens Harmon. “Her greatest joy was her five grandchildren. her babysitting until she takes [my son] young Jack for a walk, and he ended up [falling into the neighborhood] some lakes. I molded her spirit of forgiveness and she retained her babysitting duties.
His cousin Stanley Heuisler said: ‘Beneath all his wit, his intelligence, his skills, his humor, his determination, his family, his community and his involvement in the church and, yes, his enduring faith, some things were done better in certain ways; she seemed to me to be, more intrinsically, just a good person. She lived by being good and doing good.
Active at Notre-Dame-de-la-Reine Cathedral, she was a reader from 1973 to 2005 and sat on the parish council and on the Cathedral’s Renaissance Festival committee.
Ms Stevens was a member of the Junior League of Baltimore and Santa Claus Anonymous and was a former treasurer of the Cathedral School Athletic Association.
Mrs. Stevens enjoyed bridge, tennis, golf and genealogy.
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Her children described her as a “huge Ravens fan”. They said that while watching a match with her, she sometimes utters “swear words” during disappointing plays. His grandchildren found these moments entertaining.
Mark Stevens, her son, also said: “As a child and in my adult life, I thought, ‘How does mum have so much energy? She runs a business, manages the household, sits on committees, assists many older aunts, uncles and grandparents. She was always fun.
He said she organizes a weekly tennis group and never misses any of the children’s sports games.
“Throughout that time, she’s been spending quality time with my dad,” he said. “She thought of others and never spoke ill of anyone. She made hospital visits, meals for sick friends and gave little gifts to make someone feel special. Sometimes it was exhausting to watch her go.
“She was an institution and pushed boundaries,” her son Mark said. “She was the center of the family. She was a generous, fun, energetic, always positive dynamo. She was a pioneer.
Survivors include two sons, James Scott Stevens of Reisterstown and Mark Turner Stevens of Charlotte, North Carolina; one daughter, Paula Stevens Harmon of Ruxton; one sister, Ann McCormick Owings of Tallahassee, Florida; and five grandchildren. Her husband of 57 years died in 2017.
A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St.