Patty Rouse, wife of the late James Rouse, co-founder of Enterprise Community Partners Inc. and a leading voice in the Columbia community, died Monday at age 85.
The news was confirmed by a spokesperson at Enterprise in Columbia, which has offices throughout the country, and through an email sent to Enterprise employees notifying them of Rouse's death.
Rouse and her husband James, the developer to fruition in 1967, founded Enterprise in 1982 with the goal of helping every American live in affordable homes. Since then, the company has invested more than $11 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve nearly 300,000 affordable homes, according to Enterprise's website.
Terri Ludwig, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. president and CEO, said Jim and Patty Rouse's "legendary vision launched a national organization that is marking 30 years as the leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities."
"Enterprise is forever indebted to Patty, our visionary co-founder, for her unwavering commitment and the groundbreaking legacy she has left the affordable housing and community development industry," Ludwig said in a statement.
Enterprise officials did not provide details Monday on the cause of Rouse's death or where it occurred.
James Rouse, who died in 1996, was the founder of the Rouse Company and the leading figure behind the planning of the city of Columbia. The couple married in 1974 and shortly after moved from Norfolk, VA, to a house overlooking Wilde Lake.
In an interview with the Baltimore Sun in November of 2007, Patty Rouse said, "Jim Rouse liked the simple things in life. He did not want to live in a mansion. He wanted to live where people live; he didn't want to be separated from people."
She added: "When Jim died ... my friends in Norfolk said, 'Aren't you coming back home? I said, 'I am home.'"