Margaret Englerth, 84, chief public health nurse

February 17, 2000|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Margaret Englerth, a retired chief public health nurse in Baltimore County, died Feb. 10 of cancer at her home in Sparks. She was 84.

For more than 30 years, she directed Baltimore County's public health nurses and those assigned to public elementary and parochial schools.

"She helped organize the polio immunization program in the county," said Dr. Margaret Sherrard, a retired Baltimore County health director. "She was a stickler for nursing procedure."

When the first Salk vaccine to protect children from polio became available in the 1950s, Mrs. Englerth helped implement a drive that resulted in the immunization of about 250,000 people. She traveled across the county, from Reisterstown to Dundalk, giving polio shots in 1956 and 1957.

When an oral vaccine was introduced, she supervised its use throughout the county.

"She devoted her life to the organization," Dr. Sherrard said.

Mrs. Englerth worked closely with the county's Board of Education and helped create a school health program that was hailed as a national model. She was also instrumental in establishing a school health program that placed a nurse in every public elementary school. She also supervised the nurses in Lutheran, Jewish and Roman Catholic schools.

She became a Baltimore County nurse in 1947. She was named director of personnel and public relations for her department in 1957. In 1960 she was made director of the Bureau of Public Health Nursing and retired in 1980.

She helped design the enamel pin that Baltimore County's public health nurses wear.

Known as Peggy, she lived in a remote area in Sparks. She always kept a pair of German shepherds and several cats at her home.

Born Margaret Von Rugo Belknap in Dover, Ohio, she was a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned a master's degree in nursing from Catholic University of America.

She was an ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps during World War II and later was active in nursing professional organizations.

She married Frederick Englerth in 1941. He died many years ago.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dover. Memorial services were held Tuesday at Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church in Parkton, where she was a member.

Mrs. Englerth is survived by cousins.

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