Blanche B. Wilshin, 90, educator and volunteer

September 17, 2001|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Blanche B. Wilshin, former head of Friends School's lower division, died Friday of heart failure at Assured Horizons, a Fountain Valley, Calif., nursing home. She was 90 and had lived in the Hampton section of Baltimore County before moving to California last year.

Mrs. Wilshin moved to Baltimore in 1937 to be principal of Friends School's elementary department, a position she held until 1939. She was later a visiting lecturer and supervisor of student teaching at Goucher College. She also taught education courses at Peabody Conservatory and was a part-time teacher in Baltimore County schools.

"She was a gracious human being," said her son David B. Wilshin of Newport Beach, Calif. "She spoke with the most exquisite grammar."

"She was of the old school - intelligent, caring, thoughtful and kindly," said her former pastor, the Rev. Ernest Smart, who lives in Fallston. "She set a standard for the church. She was solid as a rock, a strong personality without ever losing her cool. She epitomized grace."

The former Blanche Olive Benton was born in Willmar, Minn. She was an honors graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. She received a master's degree from Syracuse University and did graduate work at Columbia University.

Before moving to Baltimore, she taught high school English in Minneota, Minn., and served as dean of girls, English teacher and riding instructor at a Chicago private school.

Mrs. Wilshin often worked with her sister, Beulah Benton Tatum, who headed Goucher College's education department. Mrs. Tatum died in 1993.

She was a founding member of the women's auxiliary of Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She contributed to the building of the Towson hospital and volunteered 3,300 hours there.

She was a volunteer for various civic groups and served as the chairwoman of the women's division of United Appeal for Baltimore County.

She was a longtime member of the Little Garden Club and the Woman's Club of Roland Park, where she served on its board of governors.

In 1945, Mrs. Wilshin joined Second Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday school and was a member of the Women's Association and Council of Christian Education.

Her husband of 52 years, Edward Long Wilshin, a Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. official, died in 1991.

Memorial arrangements are private.

She is survived by another son, Daniel G. Wilshin of Redwood City, Calif.; and two granddaughters.

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