"She was an inspiration to many."
"We were lucky to get her leadership."
"She had exquisite judgment of people."
"She was a class act."
"She was fiercely independent."
These tributes offered by both Republicans and Democrats honoring the late Del. Jean Brown Cryor at the July 12 dedication of Glen Hills Park, in her honor, described a multi-talented individual admired by many.
A sudden downpour forced Mary Bradford, director of Parks, to delay the ceremony at the Potomac park where Cryor’s daughters, Jennifer Baldwin, Deirdre Cryor and Allison DiNardo played as children. It was Cryor’s grandchildren, Maitland, Emma Jean and Anna Catherine Baldwin to whom state Sen. Jennie Forehand later remarked, "This is your park."
The only deluge that followed the sudden cloud burst was a stream of complimentary remarks for the lady who spent 12 years in the Maryland House of Delegates followed by an appointment to the Montgomery County Planning Board. Prior to her political career she was the Potomac editor of the Gazette Newspapers and became vice president of the company.
Delegates Kathleen Dumais and Brian Feldman, who shared an office with Cryor during her years in Annapolis, stressed in their remarks her independence and devotion to the job. "She was a workaholic," Dunais said. Feldman continued, "She was the funniest, wittiest person I ever met."
"She truly understood what bi-partisan meant," Dumais added, while Feldman, relating to an incident when Cryor was being pushed by a fellow member of her party who strongly insisted she vote a certain way on something she did not agree, got his comeuppance. She rose and cast her vote differently. Those at the dedication applauded.
Royce Hanson, former chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Board, explained he did not share an office with Cryor, but, "I had the special privilege of sitting next to her (on the planning board). She had exquisite judgment of people and an extraordinary capacity to be frank and gracious in the same sentence. That is rare in a politician," concluded Hanson who is currently running for a seat on the Montgomery County Council.
Cryor, who twice was named among Maryland’s 100 top women, was also a past president of Women Legislators of Maryland. "I am walking a trail blazed by Jean Cryor," remarked Francoise Carrier, the recently named chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Board.
An estimated 75 people gathered at the park for the dedication and an unveiling of a plaque adhered to a large boulder. There is also bench in her honor where grandmas can rest while watching the grandchildren play, a park where Jean Cryor spent many hours with her three daughters and three grandchildren, all of whom were at the gathering.
"She was an inspiration to many," Mary Bradford said. But, it was the timing of Montgomery County Council member Mike Knapp’s remarks that was remarkable. "She was a phenomenal person, always the most rational, normal person in the room," he said. At this very moment one of the two Park and Planning Commission horses standing nearby gave a resounding snort, as if to say, "Amen!"