Beatrice Lorraine Carrington Myers, a retired Baltimore public school administrator who was active in the outreach ministry of Metropolitan United Methodist Church, died Monday of a stroke at Bon Secours Hospital. She was 83.
Mrs. Myers, who lived for more than 50 years on Ruxton Avenue in Northwest Baltimore, was born Beatrice Lorraine Carrington in Louisa, Va., the daughter of the Rev. Napoleon Bonaparte Carrington, a United Methodist minister.
She later settled on Mount Street in West Baltimore with her family and graduated in 1936 from Frederick Douglass High School, where she was class valedictorian.
She earned her bachelor's degree in 1940 from Morgan State College, where she was again class valedictorian. She earned a master's degree in educational administration from the Johns Hopkins University in the 1960s.
In 1941, she married John B. Myers, also an elementary school educator. A year later she began teaching French and Latin at Booker T. Washington Junior High School. She later taught English and became head of the school's English department. She passed along to her students her love of Shakespeare and creative writing.
"She insisted her students become experts in parts of speech, learn to write creatively, and memorize passages from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar," said her daughter, Alicia J. Alston of Baltimore.
She left the classroom to became an administrator, serving as an assistant principal at Harlem Park Junior High School, Hamilton Junior High School and Southwestern High School. She retired in 1981.
"She was a superb teacher and administrator," said Ruby Taylor, who attended college with Mrs. Myers and was a close friend for 60 years.
"The children just loved her. She was very positive and a dynamic individual," said Mrs. Taylor, retired science department head at Walbrook High.
A deeply religious person, Mrs. Myers, who was known as "Bea," was a member of Metropolitan United Methodist Church for more than 50 years. She and her husband, who died in 1997, were active members of the church community.
Mrs. Myers taught Sunday school classes for teen-agers, and later served as the school's superintendent. She wrote Christmas and Easter plays with original music and designed costumes for the productions.
For years, she led the Wednesday night Bible study class, and also became a certified lay speaker, giving sermons at Metropolitan United Methodist Church as well as at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. Myers' real "pride and joy," said family members, was Metropolitan's Outreach Center. The agency helped the homeless, the needy, and people who had trouble with evictions or paying utility bills.
"There was nothing here at Metropolitan that she wasn't involved with. Even though she was advanced in years, she had energy to burn. She used to say, `Years are nothing but a number,'" said the Rev. Jeremiah G. Williams, pastor of the West Lanvale Street church.
"We always said that the city had Bea Gaddy and we had Bea Myers. Her ministry was geared to the least, the last and the lost," he said.
He praised her ability to bring "grace and a sense of deep caring" to those who sought assistance and said she never turned away anyone.
"She always looked for the greater good, and I told her she could probably find something good to say about the devil, and she agreed," said Mr. Williams. "We're really going to miss her."
Mrs. Myers had also been active in the National Association for Advancement of Colored People and was a member of the National Council of English Teachers and Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Metropolitan United Methodist Church, 1121 W. Lanvale St.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her son, Edward C. Myers of Columbia; four grandchildren; her stepmother, Agnes Carrington of Baltimore; and three nephews.