Richard J. White, 61, Patterson High teacher

August 02, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Richard J. White, who used patience, imagination and a "great deal of wit" during his more than 30 years as a city schoolteacher, died Sunday of a heart attack at his Dundalk home. He was 61.

Mr. White retired in 1992 from Patterson High School in East Baltimore, where he taught history for 23 years. He was known for his creative ways to motivate students.

"He was just an outstanding teacher," said George W. Jensen, a former colleague at Patterson.

One of the methods he used in his classes was to draw elaborate color chalk charts on the blackboard.

"Classes weren't boring with him as they could have been," said Wanda Edds, a former Patterson student. "He was a good person who knew what he was talking about and knew how to teach."

Mr. White communicated well with his students, always finding time for their questions before or after class -- and routinely sharing a joke with them.

A native of Pottsville, Pa., Mr. White moved with his family to Highlandtown in the 1940s. He graduated from Patterson High in 1955 and received a bachelor's degree in secondary education from what was then Towson State Teachers College in 1959.

He later earned a master's degree from Loyola College.

His teaching career began in 1959, when he taught at the old Canton Junior High School annex for a year. From 1960 to 1969, he taught at the old Hampstead Hill Junior High School in East Baltimore, then at Patterson.

"He was just a true teacher. It was always a part of him," said his sister, Pat Byer of Dundalk.

Mr. White was an avid collector of Native American artifacts.

He was a longtime member of St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dundalk, where services were held Thursday.

In addition to his sister, Mr. White is survived by two brothers, William White of Dundalk and John White of Carney.

Pub Date: 8/02/98

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