Gerard Ancel Sr., 72

High school teacher

February 13, 2007

Gerard Albert Ancel Sr., a retired high school French teacher, died of pancreatic cancer Feb. 6 in Clearwater, Fla. The former Hampden resident was 72.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, he graduated from St. Joseph, a French Jesuit University there, and later taught French in the American Embassy there. He moved to Baltimore in 1961 and received two master's degrees in education, from Loyola College and the Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Ancel was a State Department interpreter for visiting dignitaries before beginning a teaching career at Boys' Latin School. He was later on the city's Western High School faculty.

"He had a European style of teaching and firmly believed it was the duty of students to study and learn if their parents sacrificed to send the children to private schools," said his former wife, Nancy Shanks Ancel, whom he married in 1961 in Beirut. "On occasion he made certain that students did not work at part-time jobs when their grades were low by going to the place of employment when they were supposed to be home studying."

He was a former member of the Mount Royal Democratic Club and made stained-glass lamps and other craft pieces.

He divorced in the 1970s and moved to Florida in the mid-1980s.

A private memorial service will be held at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, where he had been a member.

Survivors include two sons, James W. Ancel and Gerard A. Ancel Jr., both of Baltimore; a sister, Mireille Ancel of Paris; and nine grandchildren.

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