Imogene B. Douglas, 86, city educator for 44 years

February 16, 2000|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Imogene B. Douglas, an educator who taught in Baltimore city elementary schools for 44 years and was a member of Waters African Methodist Episcopal Church, died Saturday of cancer at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. She was 86.

Until moving to Pikesville in 1997, where she lived with a niece, Mrs. Douglas lived in the 1600 block of E. Biddle St. for almost 60 years.

Mrs. Douglas began teaching in 1934. For most of her career, she taught at Franklin Square Elementary School at Lexington and Stricker streets, from which she retired in 1978.

"She was an excellent teacher and had a way with children. She could be stern but was very patient and fair," said Gladys C. Baird of Baltimore, a girlhood friend and a retired schoolteacher. "She taught mostly first- and second-graders, and I think her strength as a teacher was the way she loved the children."

Born Imogene Byrd in Thomasville, Ala., Mrs. Douglas moved with her family in 1922 to Sparrows Point and later to Rutland Avenue, where she grew up.

She was a 1931 graduate of Frederick Douglass High School and earned her teaching certificate in 1934 from Coppin Normal School, now Coppin State College. She got a bachelor's degree in education from Morgan State College and a master's degree in education from New York University.

She was married in 1938 to Pink Douglas, who died in the late 1970s.

For 75 years, she was a member of Waters AME Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher, director of Vacation Bible School and a member of the board of trustees for 45 years. She was secretary of the finance and Women's Day committees as well as president of the Pastor's Aide Committee for 41 years.

Mrs. Douglas was a board member of the former Madison Avenue YMCA and a member of the Big Sisters Club of Baltimore Inc., Women Power Inc., National Council of Negro Women and Iota Chapter of Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority.

Services will be held at noon tomorrow at Waters AME Church, 17 Aisquith St.

She is survived by two cousins, Anne O. Emery of Ashburton and Gloria M. Scott of Parkville; and several nephews and nieces.

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