Margaret E. Haile, 89, outdoorswoman, educator in Balto. County schools

April 03, 2001|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Margaret Emory Haile, a retired Baltimore County public school educator, outdoorswoman and bird watcher, died in her sleep Saturday at the Edenwald retirement community in Towson. She was 89.

Until moving to Edenwald in 1985, she lived for many years on Aigburth Road in Towson, where she enjoyed flower gardening.

When she began teaching in 1933, Miss Haile was assigned to Manor Glen, a one-room Baltimore County public school. She later taught fifth-graders at Rosedale and Parkville elementary schools, and retired in 1963.

The scion of an old and prominent Baltimore County family, Miss Haile was born in Towson, the daughter of Elmer R. Haile, an attorney and first editor of The Jeffersonian, a weekly Towson newspaper, and Grace Reckord Haile.

In 1919, the family moved to a 12-acre estate near Cockeysville, where Miss Haile developed a lifelong passion for the outdoors.

"She attended Ashland School, a two-room schoolhouse on Paper Mill Road," said a niece, Debbie Chilcoat of Towson. "She remembered students who lived more than a mile from the school riding there on a free stage that was pulled by horses. They sat on benches that went down two sides of the stage.

"She also said the school was heated by a big stove that burned wood or coal and had a pan full of water on top," the niece continued. "The children placed jars with cocoa and milk into the warm water to be heated. Water for the school was gotten from a nearby hand-pump. Two students carried the bucket of water suspended from a broomstick."

A 1930 graduate of Towson High School, Miss Haile earned a teaching degree from the State Normal School, now Towson University, in 1932. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1940.

She was a member of the Mountain Club of Maryland and enjoyed hiking throughout the Eastern United States.

"Rain or snow, it made no difference to her. She was always ready to go," said a sister, Evelyn Haile Price of Corvalis, Ore.

Another niece, Marilyn Willis of Lake City, Iowa, recalled hiking with her aunt as a youngster. "She'd pack a lunch, and we'd be off for long hikes in the mountains," she said.

"We would even do overnight hikes. She'd pitch a tent, and we would sit quietly listening to the whippoorwills calling at night," Mrs. Willis said.

Miss Haile, who also was a member of the Baltimore Bird Club of the Maryland Ornithological Society, enjoyed bird watching at Prettyboy Reservoir in northern Baltimore County.

She also belonged to the Baltimore County Historical Society and the Retired Teachers Association of Baltimore County. She enjoyed visiting Ocean City, Md., and Ocean City, N.J.

During World War II, she was recognized for donating several gallons of blood to the American Red Cross.

She was a longtime member of Towson United Methodist Church.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete yesterday.

Miss Haile also is survived by two brothers, Elmer Rathbun Haile Jr. of Parkville and Walter Reckord Haile of Towson; another sister, Barbara Haile Chilcoat of Towson; two nephews and five other nieces.

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