Mabelle B. Smith, 99, city schools art teacher

May 03, 2002

Mabelle Basford Smith, a retired art teacher who taught in Baltimore public schools for nearly 30 years, died Tuesday of respiratory failure at the Wesley Home in Mount Washington. She was 99.

The former longtime Towson and Pikesville resident was born Mabelle Basford in Baltimore. She was raised on West Pennsylvania Avenue in Towson and graduated from Western High School in 1920.

She earned a teaching certificate from the old Towson State Normal School, now Towson University, in 1922. She also earned a fine arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art and did graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

She began teaching in city public schools in the 1920s and, after marrying Dr. Roy P. Smith, a Towson dentist, left teaching to raise her family. He died in 1976.

She returned to teaching in the 1950s and taught developmentally disabled students until retiring from Waverly School No. 51 during the 1960s.

Mrs. Smith, who worked in oils, enjoyed painting flowers and decorating trays with her artwork. She also liked spending summers at a cottage on MacMahan Island, Maine.

She was a communicant of Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave., Towson, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. May 11.

Mrs. Smith is survived by two sons, W. Gilmore Smith of Timonium and David B. Smith of Bel Air; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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