Gretchen A. Whitney, 88, teacher, school librarian

October 27, 2004

Gretchen A. Whitney, a retired Baltimore elementary school teacher and librarian, died of a heart attack Friday at Good Samaritan Hospital. The Northeast Baltimore resident was 88.

Born Gretchen Ann Kurtzman in Hibbing, Minn., she earned a bachelor's degree in education from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn. She moved to Baltimore in 1952 with her husband, Ambrose Whitney, a W.R. Grace chemist. He died in 1997.

She began teaching fourth grade at Northwood Elementary School in 1954, and after 12 years she became the librarian at Glenmount Elementary.

After retiring in 1977, she took a job for five years running the math lab at Baltimore County's Hillendale Elementary School. Family members said she created games, activities and bulletin boards.

Mrs. Whitney enjoyed bowling and golf, and was proud of her two first-place golfing trophies - the first won in Hibbing when she was 17, and the second at Longview Golf Course in Towson in 1993, when she was 77. Mrs. Whitney bowled in duckpin leagues in the Hillendale and Parkville areas.

A funeral Mass was offered Tuesday at St. Ursula Roman Catholic Church in Parkville, where she was a member.

Survivors include a son, Robert P. Whitney of Wilton, Conn.; a daughter, Jeanne W. McGuire of Bel Air; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

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