Dorothy Klug, 93, volunteer, college chemistry teacher


Dorothy Klug, a retired chemistry instructor and hospital volunteer, died of congestive heart failure Thursday at Oak Crest Village in Parkville. The longtime Towson resident was 93.

Born Dorothy Louise Burke and raised in Fall River, Mass., she attended a convent school located near the home of Lizzie Borden, then that city's most celebrated resident. For nearly eight decades, Mrs. Klug recounted the daily experience of seeing the woman who was tried, and acquitted, in 1893 for the ax murders of her father and stepmother.

"My mother got out of school and came up Highland Avenue as Lizzie Borden was just walking out of her home for her daily afternoon ride with her chauffeur," a son, Alan V. Klug Jr. of Timonium, recalled yesterday. "At one point, her father had to go out and walk her past the Borden house because she was so jittery."

Mrs. Klug's son recalled that his mother described Miss Borden as carrying herself "like a lady," and was attired in a "sun dress, hat and a parasol."

After Miss Borden's 1927 death, her chauffeur went to work for Mrs. Klug's family as a driver for their textile business.

In 1930, Mrs. Klug moved to Baltimore as a freshman at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, where she earned a combined biology and chemistry degree in 1934, the year she met and married Alan V. Klug Sr., the owner of a uniform business.

Family members said the Klugs initially lived in Govans, and on Dec. 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, they selected a lot on Morningside Drive in Towson, where they built a home and lived for 53 years.

Mrs. Klug became a Girl Scout leader at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, where she was a member and where services were held Monday. She also belonged to the Loyola High School Mothers' Club and was a past president of the Mount St. Mary's Mothers' Guild in Emmitsburg.

In 1956, Mrs. Klug was asked to become a chemistry instructor at her alma mater, Notre Dame College, and taught for four years.

"She said that when she was a student in the 1930s, there were 98 known elements in chemistry," her son said. "When she went back to the classroom, there were 107."

Family members said Mrs. Klug enjoyed the challenge of a new job, and in 1962 she earned a real estate license. For the next decade, she sold properties in Baltimore County. They said she enjoyed meeting prospective homebuyers and that she mixed easily with people because she was "never at a loss for words." She also never surrendered her New England accent, which intensified as she met other people from her home state, relatives said.

"Her most heralded sale was a listing she received for the old Towson Nurseries property, a large undeveloped tract opposite Towson State University," her son said. "The site sold and became a medical center."

In 1972, Mrs. Klug became a St. Joseph Medical Center volunteer and logged more than 2,000 hours there, most of the time distributing mail and flowers to patients.

She played bridge and gardened. In 1995, she and her husband moved to Oak Crest Village. He died in 1998.

Though in failing health for the past several years, Mrs. Klug always dressed stylishly, her daughter, Anne K. Coyle of Brooklandville, said.

In addition to her son and daughter, survivors include an additional son, Thomas E. Klug of Towson; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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