Carville A. Lauenstein, 84, school principal

April 29, 2003|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Carville A. Lauenstein, a retired Baltimore County elementary school principal, died Friday of stroke complications at Franklin Square Hospital Center. The Essex resident was 84.

Born on a Back River Neck farm his family has owned since 1886, he was raised at Josenhans Corner, at Old Eastern Avenue and Back River Neck Road, where his father owned a general merchandise store. He attended a one-room Essex public school and was a 1936 graduate of Kenwood High School.

He earned a degree in education from what is now Towson University, where he was a catcher on the baseball team and played soccer. He was elected to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1972.

In 1980, then-Gov. Harry Hughes named him to a five-year term on Towson's board of trustees.

Mr. Lauenstein received a master's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and studied at the Johns Hopkins University.

On Sept. 4, 1941, after doing his student teaching at Lida Lee Tall School, he boarded a train at Glen Arm and left for military service. He spent more than four years in the South Pacific - he served at Leyte Gulf at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. He earned the rank of major and ended his military career as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves in 1974. He was later an executive officer in the Reserve Officers Association.

Family members recalled that one of his most difficult tasks was informing a family that a son had been killed in action.

After the war, he resumed teaching and was soon named vice principal of Parkville High School. In the early 1950s he was assigned to eastern Baltimore County, where baby boomers were then entering schools in record numbers in what was the county's most populous district. Before his 1979 retirement, he served as principal of the Colgate, Inverness and Bear Creek elementary schools.

"At one time he had the largest enrollment in his school in all of Baltimore County. They had portable rooms and annexes all over the place," said his brother, former Baltimore County Council member Norman Lauenstein Sr. "He probably touched the lives of more children in the Dundalk area than any other person."

"Carville was a fundamentally sound, traditional principal and a good administrator," said Robert Y. Dubel, former Baltimore County school superintendent. "He maintained good discipline and had good morale. He was always upbeat, and had a humor that was infectious."

In addition to his educational duties, Mr. Lauenstein managed several baseball teams in Essex and Dundalk. He was inducted into the Maryland Oldtimers Baseball Association Hall of Fame in January. He scouted for the New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants.

In 1980 Mr. Lauenstein was elected to the Back and Middle River Federal Savings and Loan Association's board, where he was later managing director.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Connelly Funeral Home of Essex, 300 Mace Ave.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, the former Mary Elnora Messenger; two sons, Carville H. Lauenstein of Essex and Robert Michael Lauenstein of Orlando, Fla.; an additional brother, Edgar Lauenstein of Essex; a sister, Helen Earl of Pasadena; and a granddaughter.

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