Thelma M. Vansant, 93, teacher active in community

January 27, 2003

Thelma Moffett Vansant, who began a more than 40-year teaching career in Kent County in a one-room schoolhouse at Cliffs City and was active in professional, community and church organizations, died Thursday at the Chestertown Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility. The longtime Chestertown resident, who was named the county's Most Beautiful Person in 1987, was 93.

Born Thelma Moffett, she graduated in 1926 from Rock Hall High School and in 1928 from the State Normal School, now Towson University. She also attended Washington College and later earned a degree from the University of Maryland in 1964.

Beginning in 1928 at the Cliffs City school, she taught elementary and middle school children, retiring in the early 1970s.

She was active in teachers associations, serving in many capacities, including as president of the Kent County Teachers Association. She was a member of the county, state and national associations of retired teachers, was on the Maryland group's board of directors and was its northeastern regional coordinator, representing five counties.

Mrs. Vansant also was a longtime member of the Board of Elections of Chestertown, where she served until 1997. Her many other activities included service on the Kent County Council of Social Agencies, the Children's Council of Kent County, the Upper Shore Mental Health Auxiliary, the Kent & Queen Anne's Hospital Auxiliary, the Eastern Star, Friends of Angels Haven, the Delta Kappa Gamma sorority and Friends of the Kent County Library.

She was on the boards of directors of the Eastern Shore Health Planning Council, the Kent County Health Planning Committee, the Camp Fairlee Manor Advisory Committee, the Chester Sassafras Foundation, the Historical Society of Kent County, the Women's League of Washington College and the Capt. Lambert Wicks Foundation, a historical group named for the first settlement in the county.

Mrs. Vansant was a member of the administrative board and the altar guild of Christ United Methodist Church on High Street in Chestertown, where services will be held at 10 a.m. today.

Her husband of 67 years, C. Burton Vansant, died in 1998. She is survived by a daughter, Anne Burton Vansant of Chestertown; a brother, Maxwell Moffett of Ocean City; a sister, Isabel Gorham of Baltimore; and several nieces and nephews.

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