Clarence Maiden, 88, educator

September 28, 2002|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

Clarence "Reds" Maiden, a longtime Baltimore County educator who served as principal of Catonsville Junior High School, died of heart failure Thursday at Sinai Hospital. The Baltimore resident was 88.

A quiet man, Mr. Maiden was known for his love of debate and research and was still remembered by his former students more than 20 years after his retirement, his wife said.

"He was always so visible. My husband believed in hands-on," said Norma Maiden, a retired Morgan State University professor. "His door was always open, but he was more likely in the halls."

It was his dark reddish hair - and the fact that his family raised tomatoes on their farm in Mt. Royal, N.J. - that led to his decades-old nickname "Reds," his wife said.

After high school in New Jersey, Mr. Maiden earned a mathematics degree from then Morgan State College, where he excelled on the track and on the football field and headed the student council, his family said. He later earned a master's degree in guidance from the University of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Maiden said.

He began his teaching career in the early 1940s, she said, in the days of segregation, working as a math teacher and later a vice principal at Towson's Carver Elementary and High School.

During integration more than a decade later, Mr. Maiden would often talk with colleagues about ways to make the transition seamless, she said.

"I remember him saying students were more accepting of integration than their parents were," Mrs. Maiden said. "It really took a balancing act."

His years with Baltimore County public schools took him from Carver to Towsontown Junior High to Woodlawn Senior High to Catonsville Junior High, where he served as principal during the 1970s.

After his retirement in the mid-1970s, more than three decades after he started teaching, Mr. Maiden enjoyed being with his young grandsons and traveling.

His grandsons remember sitting around the dinner table debating history, with Mr. Maiden playing the devil's advocate as a way to encourage the boys to research and read.

"He just wanted to show us how to argue," said grandson Roosevelt Adams III of Baltimore.

His marriage in 1961 to the former Norma Potts was a second marriage for both. His first wife, Mary McDaniels, died in 1959.

Services will be at noon Tuesday at March West Funeral Home, 4300 Wabash Ave. in Baltimore.

In addition to his wife and grandson, Mr. Maiden is survived by a daughter, Cathy Johnson of Baltimore, and another grandson, Jason Lamar Adams, also of Baltimore.

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