Eberhard Stubenrauch, 61, taught physical education at St. James

April 27, 2000|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Eberhard Stubenrauch, a popular physical education teacher who designed the program at St. James Academy in Monkton, died April 20 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The longtime Sparks resident was 61.

Mr. Stubenrauch also was director of summer and winter camps for Gerstung, a gymnastics school for children in Bare Hills. He was a teacher at St. James for 26 years and also had taught at several other area schools.

At St. James, he designed and, with help from parents, installed an outdoor fitness course that was named in his honor. He also helped with the design and construction of St. James Center, a 17,000-square-foot addition to the athletic building.

Affectionately called "Mr. Ebs" by students, he focused on their development and growth and was less concerned with athletic abilities.

"His programs always placed value on the individual and their spirit, to encourage growth and development for everyone no matter what their abilities," his daughter, Anita Stubenrauch of Sparks, said yesterday.

"It was always a noncompetitive atmosphere. He celebrated the activity rather than winning," said Kimberly Mackin, Gerstung's director.

Ms. Mackin said that Mr. Stubenrauch was able to "deal with children without raising his voice. He was kind and gentle and that's a good word to describe Mr. Ebs."

"He was enormously child-centered and responded to them individually whether they were athletically gifted or not," said Betty Legenhausen, head of St. James since 1987. "The children always felt they could better their personal best when working with Ebs.

"A fourth-grader wrote of him, `He knew everyone's limit and told them he could make us better,' " Mrs. Legenhausen said.

"He taught me some of the most important lessons on how to survive on the long road of life," said Kate Smalkin, a student, in a tribute last year to Mr. Stubenrauch. "I hope that he knows that he has made me whole, a person who can fulfill her dreams and achieve anything."

Born in Berlin and raised in Munich, Mr. Stubenrauch earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Munich and a master's degree in physical education from the Bavarian Sports Academy.

He was a lifelong gymnast. As a track-and-field athlete, his specialty was the broad jump.

He came to Baltimore in 1965 and worked at Gerstung.

In 1967, he left Gerstung and became physical education director at the Dundalk YMCA, where he oversaw the installation of a pool and founded the Water Baby program, which introduced infants to swimming and overcoming fear of water.

In 1973, he returned to Gerstung as director of operations and also taught at St. James.

For the past 10 years, Mr. Stubenrauch fought cancer but refused to let the disease interfere with his teaching.

"He'd come in right after chemotherapy and go to work. He had such a zest for life," Ms. Mackin said.

His marriage to Barbara Robinson ended in divorce.

He was a communicant of St. James Episcopal Church in Monkton.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. May 20 at St. James Academy, 3100 Monkton Road in Monkton.

After services, a memorial walk-run will follow. Students who participate "will be given patches bearing his farewell advice: "Follow your dreams,' " Ms. Legenhausen said.

Mr. Stubenrauch also is survived by two sons, Ralph Stubenrauch of Belcamp and Guido Stubenrauch of White Marsh; a brother, Jorg-Rainer Stubenrauch of Germany; a sister, Hannelore Stubenrauch of Munich; and three grandchildren.

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