Marilyn C. Graves, 55, special education teacher

January 24, 2003

Marilyn C. Graves, a special education teacher for 28 years at Baltimore's Rognel Heights Elementary School, died of cancer Jan. 16 at Mercy Medical Center. The Randallstown resident was 55.

Born and raised Marilyn Matthews in Baltimore, she graduated from Edmondson High School and earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in special education from Coppin State College.

As a teen-ager, she planned to study nursing and volunteered as a candy striper at the old Provident Hospital. She later decided to pursue the same career as her mother, a special education teacher.

Hired by the city school system in 1973, she joined the faculty at Rognel Heights in West Baltimore in 1973. As a member of its annual review team, she helped evaluate the needs of special education pupils from kindergarten to eighth grade.

For the last 18 years of her career, she also provided home instruction to students who were ill, and taught adult education classes. She retired on a medical disability in 2001.

Mrs. Graves was an active member of Mount Hebron Baptist Church, where her grandfather, the late Rev. James H. Matthews, was pastor for 35 years. She was a deaconess, sang with the choir and was a member of the usher board.

Services will be held at noon tomorrow at the church, 2651 W. North Ave.

Mrs. Graves is survived by her husband of 12 years, William Graves; a son, Frederick James Coleman of Baltimore; two daughters, Nakia Savage of Baltimore and Ebony Graves of Randallstown; two brothers, James Talley of Atlanta and David Larry Talley of Randallstown; two sisters, Janis Talley and Yvonne Talley, both of Baltimore; and two grandchildren she adopted to raise.

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