Ellen Beatrice Holley, a Baltimore schoolteacher for more than 40 years who was an active volunteer in retirement, died after suffering cardiac arrest May 8 at her Mount Washington home. She was 84.
Ellen Gaines was raised in Philadelphia and came to Baltimore in the late 1930s to attend Morgan State College. She graduated with majors in music and English. She later earned a master's equivalence from the Johns Hopkins University.
While at Morgan State, she met another student, Wayman Holley, whom she married in 1945, two years after her graduation.
An avid reader and piano player, Mrs. Holley had a love of music and fine arts that permeated their home, said her daughter Beth Holley of Mount Washington.
"She was a people person ... fun-loving and elegant," she said.
Mrs. Holley started her teaching career in Baltimore's public school system as a music instructor before teaching English. She taught at Booker T. Washington Junior High School and later at Northern High School, where she was head of the English department and enjoyed teaching the works of great American authors.
She retired from the school system in 1980. In their retirement, the Holleys traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe. Mr. Holley died last year.
Though retired, Mrs. Holley stayed active in the community. She served as a volunteer patient advocate at Sinai Hospital for 20 years. She was a volunteer counselor at the office of the attorney general's consumer protection division, and was active at Grace Presbyterian Church in Northwest Baltimore.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2604 Banister Road, in Baltimore.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by another daughter, Debbie Tucker of Mount Washington.