James T. Bivins Sr., 74, automobile mechanics teacher

April 25, 2006

James T. Bivins Sr., a retired automobile mechanics teacher, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease April 18 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Ashburton resident was 74.

Born in Baltimore and raised in the city and later in the southern Anne Arundel County community of Lothian, he was a 1947 graduate of the old Bates High School in Annapolis. He earned a bachelor's degree from the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Va.

During the Korean War, he was a diesel mechanic at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Mr. Bivins taught at Boys Village in Cheltenham before joining the Baltimore City public schools in 1960 and teaching automobile mechanics at the old Fairmount Hill Vocational High School in East Baltimore. He was on the faculty of Lake Clifton High School from 1970 until 1985 and was cluster coordinator at Westside Skills Center at his retirement in 1989.

"At any time, he'd be outside and underneath the hood of a neighbor's car, giving advice or fixing something," said his son, James T. Bivins Jr. of Baltimore. "He was the neighborhood mechanic."

Mr. Bivins, who drove Cadillacs, took a 1934 Buick to Lake Clifton and restored it with the help of his students.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at Wayland Baptist Church, 3200 Garrison Blvd., where he was a member.

Survivors also include his wife of 46 years, the former Margaret Taylor; a daughter, Angela Otero of Baltimore; his mother, Margaret Bivins of Lothian; two brothers, Leonard E. Bivins of Lanham and Robert P. Bivins of Lothian; two sisters, Betty Chase of Randallstown and Dr. Margaret Brown of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

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