Kathryn Joellenbeck

[ Age 76 ] Longtime activist took part in civil rights and Vietnam War protests.

May 03, 2007

Kathryn A. Joellenbeck, a Johns Hopkins University administrative assistant and activist for peace and justice issues, collapsed and died of a heart attack April 26 while waiting for a bus on her way to work. The Anneslie resident was 76.

Born Kathryn Alice Abele in Norwalk, Ohio, she was the daughter of a clergyman who was a union supporter and civil rights activist. While earning a bachelor of arts at Elmhurst College in Illinois, she met Roy W. Joellenbeck, a World War II veteran attending college on the G.I. Bill. They were married in 1952.

They moved to Baltimore in 1957 when her husband became campus minister at Towson and Morgan State colleges. With her husband, she participated in Morgan student civil rights sit-ins and Vietnam War protest marches.

Her husband was pastor of Christ Evangelical and Reformed Church in Locust Point from 1970 until his 1995 retirement.

After her children began school, Mrs. Joellenbeck worked for Mass Media Ministries and was later public relations director for Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. In the early 1980s, she was hired by the Johns Hopkins University and at her death was an administration assistant in the gynecology and obstetrics department.

She was a former newsletter editor for the local Women's International League for Peace and Freedom chapter.

She enjoyed attending the Baltimore Opera, Baltimore Symphony, Center Stage and Everyman Theatre. She was a contributor to Earl's Place, a transitional housing residence on East Lombard Street.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. May 12 at First and St. Stephen's United Church of Christ, 6915 York Road, where she was a member.

In addition to her husband, survivors include two daughters, Barbara Joellenbeck and Lois Joellenbeck, both of Baltimore; a brother, the Rev. Reinhold Abele of Concord, N.H.; and two grandchildren.

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