Guy T. Railey Jr., 71, high school teacher, coach

December 16, 2003|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Guy Tarleton Railey Jr., a retired high school educator and coach who had headed the Maryland Board of Football Officials, died of heart failure Wednesday at St. Joseph Medical Center. The longtime Parkville resident was 71.

Mr. Railey was born in Baltimore and raised in Hamilton. He was an outstanding athlete at Polytechnic Institute, where he played baseball, lacrosse and football. After graduating from Poly in 1951, he served for two years in the Coast Guard.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1958 from the Johns Hopkins University and a master's in psychology in 1970 from Loyola College.

While at Hopkins, he lettered in football, baseball and lacrosse, and was a backup goalie on its 1958 national championship lacrosse team.

"He was a consummate gentleman and a good athlete at Hopkins," said Bob Scott, a retired Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach and director of athletics. "He was four years older than his class members, who always looked up to him. He was a good ballplayer who was respected by his peers. ... And he was always respected for what he did with his life, working with high school kids as both a teacher and coach."

Mr. Railey began teaching mathematics in 1958 in the city school system, at what was then Woodbourne Junior High School, where he eventually was promoted to vice principal. After leaving Woodbourne in the 1970s, he taught math and coached football and baseball at Baltimore County's Patapsco, Loch Raven and Perry Hall high schools.

During his more than 30-year career, Mr. Railey also coached football and baseball at Edmondson High School in the city, and Dulaney High and Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Baltimore County.

"He taught his students with unflagging patience, encouragement and support. His dedication to his students was summed up by the nickname `Daily Railey,' bestowed on him by colleagues. In his 34 years of teaching, he rarely, if ever, missed a day of class," said a daughter, Margaret Railey Holcomb of Parkville.

Mr. Railey also kept his students and fellow teachers amused with a seemingly endless supply of one-liners, puns and humorous anecdotes.

"He forged a fine balance between humor and perseverance to elicit the best efforts from all of his students," the daughter said.

After retiring in 1992, he returned to Poly as an assistant football and baseball coach, and was also an assistant baseball coach at Hopkins, and on the coaching staff at then-Essex Community College.

"Enhanced by his natural teaching skills, he was able to impart the importance of athletic fundamentals, respect, discipline and sportsmanship to those he coached. His focus was always on molding young athletes into better men both on and off the field," his daughter said.

Mr. Railey was also a longtime high school and collegiate football official, and a former commissioner of the Maryland Board of Football Officials. He was the official timekeeper for the Baltimore Colts from 1969 until 1983, the team's last season in Baltimore.

In 1970, Mr. Railey was the recipient of the first Maryland Board of Football Officials' Menton Memorial Award. The award was named for Paul A. Menton, a former Evening Sun sports editor who organized the board of high school and college football officials and served as its first commissioner.

"He was someone to look up to for his knowledge of the game and ability. He was a delightful man and one of those guys who rubbed off on the younger officials," said Robert L. Blatchley, a retired Baltimore attorney and former football official. "He was just a prince of a man."

Mr. Railey looked forward to setting up his annual Christmas garden, portions of which dated to his childhood.

"He loved his Christmas garden and started putting it up as soon as football season ended. It was so elaborate that it took up one-third of our family room and had both Lionel and old standard-gauge trains," said his wife of 47 years, the former Beverly Pranitis.

A memorial service was held Sunday at the Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Railey is survived by three sons, Guy T. Railey III of Middletown, R.I., John Railey of Hamilton and James Railey of Towson; three other daughters, Mary Railey Connell of Leesburg, Va., Jeannine Railey of Parkville and Kathleen Railey of Manchester, Conn.; a sister, Patricia Railey Marquis of Woodbine; and eight grandchildren.

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