Marcellus Moore, 73, ran soup kitchen, teacher in Md. correctional system

September 23, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Marcellus Moore, a former teacher and administrator in the state correctional system and the coordinator of a church soup kitchen in Northwest Baltimore, died Saturday from complications of a stroke at University of Maryland Medical Center.

Mr. Moore, 73, was active for many years with his community group, Ashburton Neighborhood Association, where he chaired a public safety committee to prevent crime in the area.

"He was one of those kinds of people that does things, not just on a committee but actually someone active in the community. He was a doer," said A. Dwight Pettit, a longtime friend and neighbor for more than 20 years.

"He was a fantastic human being, one of those people everyone loved and thought a lot of."

Since the early 1980s, his passion was the soup kitchen at Wayland Baptist Church on Garrison Boulevard. There, he did a little of everything, including shopping, cooking, serving meals, cleaning and counseling many of nearly 200 people who ate there each Wednesday.

"He felt it was his sense of call and duty," said the Rev. Hoffman F. Brown III, pastor at Wayland Baptist. "He was the center of the soup kitchen, and he had a very strong commitment to it."

His wife, the former Christine James, whom he married in 1953, said his nature had always been hospitable.

"He had been blessed with good health and a loving family," Mrs. Moore said. "These were gifts from God, and he wanted to give back to others."

A native of Leeds, Ala., Mr. Moore served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946. He attended the former Morgan State College upon his discharge and graduated in 1950 with a degree in biology.

He received a master's degree in correctional administration from Coppin State College in 1970 and took graduate courses at University of Maryland and American University in Washington.

For many years after he graduated from Morgan State, Mr. Moore taught science to inmates at correctional institutions throughout the state. In 1971, he was named deputy warden at the House of Correction in Jessup and became assistant superintendent at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup in 1980. He retired in the mid-1980s.

Mr. Moore enjoyed playing cards, gardening and traveling, and was an avid sports fan. "He was just devastated when the Colts left," his wife said. "But he was a changed person when the Ravens came."

He enjoyed entertaining and holding large family gatherings. At each large meal, his wife said they would "always put an extra plate on the table for people who might just drop in."

He was a past member of the Parole and Probation Association and YMCA, where he served on the boards of managers. He belonged to many social organizations, including the Phalanx, the Hums and the O'Nose.

Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow at Wayland Baptist Church, 3200 Garrison Blvd.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Lisa Barkley of Charlotte, N.C.; and two grandchildren.

Pub Date: 9/23/98

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