Ina R. Carlton, 70, city schoolteacher

October 23, 2003|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Ina R. Carlton, who taught fourth grade at an Edmondson Village elementary school for nearly three decades, died of liver failure Saturday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. She was 70, and a longtime resident of the neighborhood in West Baltimore.

Born Ina Ruth Holloway in Scranton, N.C., she earned an English degree from St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C. After her marriage in 1955 to Thaxter Winfred Carlton, a Defense Department worker, she moved to Baltimore and lived on West Mulberry Street. Her husband died in 1994.

She became a city public school teacher in the early 1960s - initially in East Baltimore schools before being assigned to School 88, Lyndhurst Elementary on Wildwood Parkway, a short distance from her rowhouse. She remained at the school for 28 years before retiring in 1994.

"She lived five blocks from the school and drove there every day," said her daughter, Linda Carlton of Baltimore. "All her cars only had about 15,000 miles on them because the other places she went were to church on Sunday and shopping on Saturday. That was her life."

When she joined the Lyndhurst faculty, the school had 1,400 pupils and ran on two shifts. Newspaper stories said it had the second-highest enrollment among city elementary schools.

"She was a good worker who was strict with her children," said the school's retired principal, Calvin Carrington. "She was a pleasant faculty member who could cope with her assignments."

Despite the school's large enrollment, she was recalled for her ability to bring order to a classroom.

"She was a no-nonsense kind who insisted that her children learn to behave. She believed that they would not get a good education without self-control," said Alice J. Press, a friend and retired city school administrator. "She was quick to laugh and was sympathetic to her children. If a child had problems, she went all out to help. Teaching for her was not just about control of the children. She was always prepared, and kept a very pleasant room."

Mrs. Carlton was a founding member of Club 88, a group of Lyndhurst Elementary faculty and staff who meet several times a year for day trips and conversation. The group also donates savings bonds for deserving Lyndhurst graduates bound for middle school.

Friends said Mrs. Carlton was known for her Southern-style cooking. She brought her lunch to the classroom, where she kept a hot plate. At lunchtime, she warmed up fried chicken, collard greens or sweet potatoes.

"The scents would go through the school's halls and we'd all go into her room hoping we could get a little taste," Mrs. Press said.

Services will be held at 7 o'clock tonight at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, 2812 Reisterstown Road, where she was a 40-year member and served on the hospitality committee and the missionary ministry.

Survivors also include another daughter, Lawanda Salisbury of Baltimore; her parents, Ira and Lizzie A. Holloway of Scranton, N.C.; a sister, Marjorie Wiggins of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.

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