Andre Walker Brewster, an active member of the steeplechase community and a partner in Arcadia Stable, died Saturday, Feb. 20.
A direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin, he is also the great-grandson of Benjamin Harris Brewster, who was U.S. attorney general under President Chester Arthur. His parents were Daniel B. Brewster and Ottolie Y.W. Brewster. They named Andre after his great-uncle, Maj. Gen. Andre Walker Brewster, a Medal of Honor winner for his valor in the Boxer Rebellion.
Andre grew up at “Fernwood” on Green Spring Valley Road in Baltimore County next to his grandparents’ home, “ Wickcliffe,” now known as Maryvale School. After attending Gilman School in Baltimore, he graduated in 1943 from St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., where he was a student leader, academically and athletically. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II, and he was a member of the Princeton Class of 1947. He went on to graduate from the University of Virginia Law School and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1949.
He rose in the legal ranks to become managing partner at Piper+Marbury (now DLA Piper), helping the firm become one of the largest firms in Maryland and expanding its offices nationally while bringing in major corporate clients from around the world.
Andre also served on numerous corporate boards including : Alex Brown and Sons Inc., Aegon USA Inc., Fidelity and Deposit Co. of Md. Inc, Ellicott Machine Corp., and The Ryland Group Inc. When Ryland Homes, the nation’s third largest homebuilder at the time, had the need for new leadership they elected him chairman of the board and appointed him as CEO of the company to transition the company into the future. Andre also continued to go to his office at Piper into his 90s.
Andre had a remarkable impact on the community locally, regionally, and nationally. A long-time trustee of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Andre went on to become its board chairman and helped to establish Hopkins’ ranking as the number-one hospital in the world, according to U. S News and World Report.
Andre’s commitment to land preservation led to his being a founder of the Land Preservation Trust that helps to preserve farmland and protects open space from development. Andre was also a founder of Shawan Downs in Baltimore County, which is regarded as a national model for an equestrian facility that brought neighbors together to preserve open space. Andre also supported the Valleys Planning Council, which has helped protect open space in Baltimore County.
Andre long recognized that the Baltimore business community needed a world class golf course to host corporate CEOs and other prominent business leaders, regardless of their background, to encourage their investment in the Baltimore community and to relocate businesses to Maryland. He and Les Disharoon founded the 962-acre Caves Valley Golf Course in Baltimore County in 1991. Caves Valley has since been the venue for major PGA tournaments .
Andre has been an avid sportsman his entire life, traveling the world to hunt, fish, and play golf. For the past 30 years he has also ranked as one of the top owners of the National Steeplechase Association.
His horses have won nearly every major race in North America, many more than one time, including the famed Maryland Hunt Cup, the world’s toughest timber race, with Buck Jakes in 1995 and 1997. Andre also served for years on the Board of Directors of the National Steeplechase Association. Andre has shared his love of the sport with family and friends. His advice and encouragement have helped many get started in the sport.
Andre’s life has been dedicated to helping others and to improving his community. He always believed in giving back. A man of few words but possessing a great wit, he would often surprise others with a response that left them in peals of laughter. Every community that Andre impacted benefited from his devotion and ability and are the better for it.
Andre has been married to the former Nancy Peterson for more than 70 years and they have lived for decades on their Butler Road farm. They have three children, Nan Paternotte of Baltimore, Wickes MacColl of Idaho, and Andre W. Brewster III Esq. of San Francisco.
They have eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He also is survived by Walter Wickes Brewster and Frances Cochran Smith. Predeceasing him were siblings U.S. Sen. Daniel B. Brewster, Catherine Brewster Jackson, and Betty Baugh Towers.
He was a member of St. Thomas’ Church in Owings Mills and numerous clubs, including the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, and the Caves Valley Golf Club .
Andre lived a great and full life of service to others. His impact goes far and deep, he will be missed.
Services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at St. Thomas’, and a reception will follow at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.