Ruth S. Gordon, founder of city nursery school

May 18, 1999

Ruth S. Gordon, who founded Greenwood Nursery School and Kindergarten during World War II, died Friday of heart failure at Stella Maris. She was 82.

Since 1980, Mrs. Gordon had lived at St. Elizabeth Hall, a retirement community near Stella Maris in Dulaney Valley. She formerly resided in Towson.

In 1944, Mrs. Gordon and her first husband, Paul C. Clifford Sr., established Greenwood Nursery School and Kindergarten, one of the first accredited nursery schools and kindergartens in Maryland, on Norwood Avenue. In 1948, the school moved to Ruscombe Lane in Northwest Baltimore. It closed in 1966.

In 1965, Mrs. Gordon, a specialist in early childhood education, joined the Baltimore public school system and helped establish the Head Start Program in Maryland. She also taught at Towson State University, Western Maryland College and the University of Maryland. She retired in the early 1980s.

The former Ruth Smiley was born in Howard Park in Northwest Baltimore. She received a bachelor's degree in nursing from Union Memorial Hospital in 1939 and later earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in education from the Johns Hopkins University and Loyola College, respectively.

Mr. Clifford, whom she married in 1939, died in 1971. In 1977, she married Walter M. Gordon Sr., who died in 1987.

A Mass of Christian burial for Mrs. Gordon will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Stella Maris Chapel, Dulaney Valley Road, Timonium.

She is survived by two sons, John B. Clifford of Parkton and Paul C. Clifford Jr. of Cleveland Heights, Ohio; a sister, Elizabeth S. Luers of Westminster; two stepsons, Walter M. Gordon Jr. of Pocomoke City and Stephen T. Gordon of Public Landing; a stepdaughter, Barbara Jane Gordon of Glen Arm; and two step-grandchildren.

Elizabeth L. Garmatz, 91, secretary to 2 congressmen

Elizabeth L. Garmatz, who was executive secretary to two Maryland congressmen, died of a stroke Saturday at Augsburg Lutheran Village. She was 91.

Miss Garmatz went to Washington in 1940 as executive secretary to the late Rep. Thomas J. D'Alesandro Jr., who later became mayor of Baltimore. In 1947, she took a similar position on the staff of her brother, the late Rep. Edward A. Garmatz. She retired in 1971.

Miss Garmatz lived in Washington from 1940 until 1986, when she moved to the retirement home. She was born and raised on Chapel Street in East Baltimore and was a graduate of Eastern High School.

She was a longtime member of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Rockdale section of Baltimore County.

There are no services.

Miss Garmatz has no survivors.

Dennis Nathan Sachs, 56, federal official, instructor

Dennis Nathan Sachs, a retired federal official, died Friday from complications of diabetes at North Arundel Hospital. The Severna Park resident was 56.

He had been deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, where he developed policies and programs for the land management and water research bureaus. He served in the federal government from 1967 to 1978.

He then worked for research and consulting firms and taught at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He retired in 1996. The native of Salem, Ore., earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1964 and master's degrees in regional science, city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966 and 1967.

The avid sailor was projects coordinator for the Institute for Private Education at Loyola College, a board member of the Chesapeake Academy in Severna Park and a member of the Anne Arundel County chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

He was a member of Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold, where services were held Sunday.

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, the former Marianne Sohonyay; two sons, Stephen Sachs and Michael Sachs, both of Severna Park; and a brother, Lyle Sachs of Bethesda.

Pub Date: 5/18/99

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