Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

The Capital (Annapolis, MD.)
December 06, 1994, Tuesday

Ellen Luff

Ellen Martina Luff, 52, formerly of Gambrills, an Annapolis lawyer and political activist, died of brain cancer Nov. 22 in Fort Bragg, Calif., where she had been living for the past few months.

Born in Washington, D.C., Ms. Luff was a graduate of St. John's College and the University of Baltimore Law School. She was involved in politics, feminism, holistic health and spiritual development. After law school, she worked with the Legal Aid Bureau and was an assistant state's attorney in Baltimore. Later she became an associate attorney with the former law firm of Blumenthal, May and Downs. She formed the partnership of Luff and Perkins with Robert Perkins of Annapolis. In 1992, she was given an award for her pioneering efforts in founding the Women's Law Center in Baltimore.

An advocate of women's rights and concerns, Ms. Luff helped write and worked for passage of the Maryland's Equal Rights Amendment adopted by the General Assembly in 1972. She was particularly involved in laws that eliminated discrimination toward women in area of insurance, availability of credit, domestic relations and employment.

She took an active role in creating new sexual offense statues for the state. Following completion of her work on the Maryland Equal Rights Amendment, she traveled around the world studying the status of women in a variety of legal systems.

She took and passed the California bar exam and practiced law in San Francisco for several years, returning to Maryland in 1983.

During this period, she worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland on several privacy and first amendment cases. She was an active tree farmer, herbalist, reflexologist and graduate of the Baltimore School of Massage. She was on the board of directors of the Annapolis Holistic Health Community.

Her hobbies included travel, reading, herb and food gathering from woodlands around her home.

Her marriage to Eric Dennard, who died in 1993, ended in divorce. She is survived by her brother, Willard Luff of Titusville, Fla.; one sister, Pat Maynard of Robindale, Mich; and one stepdaughter, Nicole Dennard of Los Angeles.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Unitarian Church, 333 Dubois Road in Annapolis and at 3 p.m. the same day at 18429 N. Highway One, Fort Bragg, Calif., in a home overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Memorial contributions may be made to the church or charity of one's choice.

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