Services are set for Mary S. Morris 98-year-old woman had three careers

October 07, 1991

A Mass of Christian burial for Mary Shaum Morris, a former school teacher who became an accountant after retiring from a career with Baltimore City, will be celebrated at 9 a.m. tomorrow at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore National Pike and St. Agnes Lane.

Mrs. Morris, who resided in Catonsville with her daughter, Mary Agnes Morris, for more than 40 years, died of heart failure at home Saturday morning after a long illness. She was 98.

The former Mary Shaum was born on a family farm in Taneytown on May 15, 1893, and was educated in schools in Carroll County.

She moved to the Baltimore area to attend the Maryland State Normal School, a forerunner of Towson State University, graduating in 1913.

She then moved back to Carroll County and taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Warfieldsburg.

She met her husband, Thomas J. Morris Sr., in Taneytown, after he returned home in 1919 from serving overseas in World War I. The couple married the next year.

After moving back to Baltimore, Mrs. Morris was employed in a variety of jobs before starting work with the city government in 1931. She held a number of positions while working for the city over the next 32 years, including truant officer and special education teacher.

Mr. Morris, a meat inspector for the city government, died in 1956. Mrs. Morris continued working for the city until retiring in 1963.

But that was not before she obtained an accounting certificate in 1961 from the Baltimore College of Commerce, which has since merged into the University of Baltimore.

After retiring from the city at the age of 70, she undertook another career as a bookkeeper and accountant, working at several businesses throughout the 1960s.

In 1968, she took a job with the Baltimore law firm of Sauerwein, Boyd & Decker.

She was supposed to work in the position as a temporary for six weeks "but ended up staying 11 years," a family member said.

During that time, she commuted to work daily from Catonsville to downtown by bus -- and was robbed eight times -- before finally retiring at the age of 86.

Mrs. Morris kept her age a well-guarded secret, telling anyone who was bold enough to ask that she was "over 21," family members said.

Although she was in failing health recently, she continued to dye her hair a deep red, they said.

In addition to her daughter, Mary Agnes, Mrs. Morris is survived ++ by another daughter, Jeanne M. Paul of Ellicott City; two sons, Thomas Joseph Morris Jr. and Stephen A. Morris, both of Catonsville; a sister, Rita Shaum Eckert, of Taneytown; 10 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

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