Gertrude Collier, 61

City schoolteacher

January 07, 2007

Gertrude Collier, a former city schools English teacher and director of a state reading program, died of cancer Dec. 31 at the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Owings Mills resident was 61.

Born Gertrude Vavrina in Baltimore and raised in Pikesville, she was a 1963 Maryvale Preparatory School graduate and earned a bachelor of arts degree from the old St. Joseph's College in Emmitsburg. She later earned a master's degree in education from the Johns Hopkins University.

She taught in the Baltimore public school system for 23 years, much of that time at seven middle and high schools. She became head of Lombard Middle School's English department and was a specialist in the system's English department.

Since 1990, Mrs. Collier had worked as a language arts specialist and chief of language development for the state education department.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Friday at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, where she had been a member and lector.

Survivors include her husband of nearly 20 years, William R. Collier; a son, Andrew S. Donovan of Odenton; a daughter, Kyla D. Porter of Middle River; her mother, Gertrude Vavrina of Parkville; a brother, Vernon Vavrina of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; a stepson, Michael R. Collier of Greenbelt; a stepdaughter, Jane M. Collier; and two grandchildren.

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