Patricia S. Ballentine

[Age 65] The preschool teacher introduced children to reading and art.

April 18, 2007|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN REPORTER

Patricia S. Ballentine, a preschool teacher who introduced her students to poetry, reading and art, died of an aortic tear Thursday at a hospital in Atlanta. The longtime Cockeysville resident was 65.

Mrs. Ballentine was returning to her home from a vacation in Naples, Fla., when she was stricken at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said a daughter, Laura Ballentine Bass of Atlanta.

Patricia Scott was born in Bellefonte, Pa., and raised in Westfield, N.J. She was a 1959 graduate of Westfield High School and earned her bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1963 from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

She began teaching art at a junior high school in Springfield, Ohio. In 1965, she moved to Silver Spring with her husband, Robert E. Ballentine, an IBM salesman, whom she had married two years earlier.

In 1970, the couple moved to Cockeysville, and after her husband's death in 1982, Mrs. Ballentine raised her four children.

She returned to work in 1987 when a longtime friend, Julie D. Woods, offered her a part-time job at McSherry & Woods, a Hunt Valley antiques shop.

"I had first met Pat when we had little children. She was the most dedicated and selfless mother, whose children were always No. 1," said Mrs. Woods, now manager of Great Finds and Designs in Timonium. "She was an avid reader and knew a good deal about antiques."

Mrs. Ballentine then worked in the bookstore at Villa Julie College from 1990 to 1992, and taught for a year at the Good Shepherd Preschool in Ruxton. She joined the faculty of Havenwood Preschool Center in Timonium in 1994.

Mrs. Ballentine was remembered by colleagues as "vivacious and always smiling."

"She was a wonderful woman who adored poetry and art, which she made part of her curriculum to help students develop literacy skills and prepare for reading," said Susan Rieger, a teacher and friend.

"People whose children had been students here have called to say how sad they are about her death, and to also say how well-prepared she had made their children for the first grade. She was our quiet hero who never sought praise but always praised the good," said Barbara Oshman Fenselau, the school's director.

"The kids just adored her, and she stayed on top of them. If a child missed a day of school, she'd call to see if there was anything wrong and what could she do to help," said Ms. Rieger.

Mrs. Ballentine enjoyed spending time at a second home at Deep Creek Lake, where she liked to boat, hike, and relax and read. She also enjoyed attending Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts and the theater, and playing bridge.

"Her sense of humor and smile often lightened our lives and showed us the freedom of laughter," said another daughter, Carrie L. Ballentine of Cockeysville.

A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Lemmon Funeral Home, 10 W. Padonia Road, Timonium.

Also surviving are a son, Robert A. Ballentine of Oakland; another daughter, Amy E. Ballentine of Cockeysville; a brother, Dr. Thomas W. Scott of Woodland, Calif.; a sister, Bobbie Chambers of Winston-Salem, N.C.; and a granddaughter.

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