Michael E. Spurrier, 58, city teacher

September 20, 2006

Michael E. Spurrier, a science teacher who taught home- and hospital-bound students by telephone for Baltimore's public schools, died of cancer Sept. 9 at his Rosedale home on his 58th birthday.

Born in Baltimore and raised in the Wilson Point section of Baltimore County, he was a 1966 graduate of Kenwood High School and earned his bachelor's degree in engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. He decided not to pursue a career in engineering and became a teacher.

"He was a 1960s-type person who had high ideals," said Richard Terrill, an artist and fellow teacher. "He thought you could be part of the problem or part of the solution. He chose the solution."

Mr. Spurrier took additional courses at Towson, Morgan and Coppin state universities, and the University of Maryland.

He taught science and math at Edmondson High School in the early 1970s and through the Upton School Home and Hospital Program from 1980 until his death.

He had been the program's acting science department head. As part of his duties, he taught at schools associated with Children's Hospital, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the old Lutheran Hospital.

A weightlifter since his college days, Mr. Spurrier won numerous awards in lifting competitions.

A memorial service was held Saturday.

Survivors include his wife of 10 years, the former Levita "Levy" Valdez; a son, Mark Hyo Joon Spurrier of Towson; two daughters, Lydia Valdez Spurrier of Rosedale and Beth Sul Min Spurrier of Towson; a brother, James Michael Dodd of Virginia; and a sister, Pamela Diana Dodd of Baltimore. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.

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