Norma Brookes Randall, 77, teacher in Arundel schools

December 13, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Norma Brookes Randall, the former owner of an Anne Arundel County kindergarten who later taught in the county's school system for more than 20 years, died Monday of pneumonia at Genesis Eldercare Center in Severna Park.

Mrs. Randall, 77, of Millersville taught at each level from kindergarten through 12th grade during her career but was mostly an elementary school teacher. She taught at Benfield Elementary School in Severna Park for 23 years before retiring in 1986.

"She had a dedication to the children and was determined to make sure they could succeed," said Rosemary Peters, who taught with Mrs. Randall for many years. "She was patient and easygoing, but she was no pushover. She made sure the lessons were learned."

Mrs. Randall also was a skilled pianist and for many years taught music in the public schools and gave private lessons from her home.

Before teaching at Benfield Elementary, Mrs. Randall operated kindergarten classes from a church in north Linthicum from about 1957 until 1963. Colleagues and relatives said Mrs. Randall focused on the needs of each of her pupils.

"When she determined what each needed, she catered to that," said her son, John Brookes Randall of Racine, Wis.

L She used inventive methods to teach and discipline children.

While teaching elementary school, she noticed that a student frequently spat on other students in class. After giving numerous warnings, Mrs. Randall had the youngster sit in the hall outside the classroom for about an hour and spit repeatedly into a pan.

"His mother called my wife and said, 'Thank you so very much. I've been trying to do that for a year now,' " said Mrs. Randall's husband, John "Jack" A. Randall, whom she married in 1947. "She loved teaching, and the kids loved her. A lot of teachers even learned from her."

A native of Middletown, Conn., the former Norma Brookes

graduated from the former Teachers College of Connecticut at age 20 with a degree in teaching.

She and her husband were charter members of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Arbutus, where she was organist and hTC choir director. She later was a member of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park.

Mrs. Randall was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Retired Teachers Association of Maryland.

Services were held yesterday.

In addition to her husband and son, she is survived by another son, Robert C. Randall of DeKalb, Ill.; two brothers, Duane Brookes of Saybrook, Conn., and Verne Brookes of North Berwick, Maine; four sisters, Beverly Morse and Barbara Hooker, both of Fiskdale, Maine, Marilyn McRoy of Sturbridge, Maine, and Mary Alice Matulevich of Haddam, Conn.; and seven grandchildren.

Donations may be made to Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park, 21146.

Pub Date: 12/13/98

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