Betty Zoller, 83, religious educator

August 16, 2004

Betty Zoller, a religious educator who advocated for children in need, died of cancer Thursday at North Arundel Hospital. The longtime Linthicum resident was 83.

Mrs. Zoller spent 49 years teaching Sunday school at Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church and was an important part of the church's efforts for troubled children - raising money, delivering Christmas presents and caring for children awaiting adoption, her family said.

"She was really passionate about her faith, and all that extended into her family and volunteer acts," said her daughter JoAnne Zoller Wagner of Pasadena.

Born Betty Giles in Baltimore, Mrs. Zoller grew up in Brooklyn Park and graduated from Glen Burnie High School. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, she worked jobs in insurance and for the federal government but "stopped working for pay" after her 1941 marriage to Harry A. Zoller, her daughter said.

The couple raised six children, five of whom either went into the ministry or taught school in Anne Arundel County.

Mrs. Zoller loved to quilt and, after making enough quilts for her large family, began making crib-sized ones that she gave to infants through the church and through the organization Doctors Without Borders, Mrs. Wagner said.

At Linthicum Heights United Methodist, Mrs. Zoller also served stints as superintendent of the Sunday school, coordinated the vacation Bible school and accompanied the children's choir, among other activities.

Mrs. Zoller enjoyed learning Spanish - a hobby she took up at age 80. She also loved music, reading and traveling.

A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. today at Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church, 200 School Lane.

In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Zoller is survived by two sons, Lawrence Zoller of Severna Park and the Rev. Darryl Zoller of Dunkirk; two other daughters, Jane Kegan of Ocala, Fla., and the Rev. Nanette de Andrade of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; a brother, Claude Giles of Severna Park; a sister, Nancy Germanos of Arnold; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A daughter, Susan Montanes, died last year.

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