Elaine R. Guice

[ Age 87 ] Elementary school teacher and sports fan traveled throughout North America during retirement.

October 29, 2007|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN REPORTER

Elaine R. Guice, a longtime elementary school teacher and ardent baseball fan who traveled throughout the United States and Mexico in a motor home during her retirement, died of pulmonary fibrosis Oct. 20. The Edgemere resident was 87.

Born in Utica, N.Y., Elaine Reynolds spent much of her childhood on the road, attending 13 elementary schools as she and her siblings hopscotched around the country with her father, who worked for an oil company, and her mother, a schoolteacher and principal. She graduated from Towson High School at age 16 and earned a degree in education in 1940 from what was then Towson State Teachers College.

She got her first full-time job at Cockeysville Elementary School, where she was hired to teach third grade. At the end of the school year, the principal asked if she would consider teaching the same children in the fourth grade. "She did, and after that, the principal said, `Well, you've spoiled them rotten. How 'bout you take them to the fifth grade, too?'" said her daughter, Debbie Lutz of Edgemere.

She resigned in 1945 to marry Thomas "Jack" Guice, a Coast Guardsman stationed at Curtis Bay, whom she met at a dance at the Boumi Temple in Baltimore. The couple dated briefly before Mr. Guice shipped out during World War II and wrote letters back and forth while he was overseas.

When Mr. Guice returned to Baltimore, he proposed. They were married July 8, 1945, at his parents' home in Shreveport, La. "She was so devoted to my father," said her son, Tom A. "Tag" Guice of Edgemere.

Mrs. Guice took a job at an elementary school in Portland, Maine, when her husband was stationed in Nova Scotia. The couple moved back to Maryland in 1951, and Mrs. Guice accepted a teaching job at Edgemere Elementary School that would last 28 years.

She retired in 1979 after a car accident left her with a blood clot in her leg that doctors said would be exacerbated by the many hours a day she spent on her feet in the classroom, her daughter said.

Mr. Guice retired at the same time after more than 20 years as a mechanical engineer with the Patapsco & Back Rivers Railroad.

Bitten years earlier by the camping bug, the couple hit the road in their motor home. "She never flew, and yet she visited all 48 lower states and Alaska," said her son. They often spent their winters in Mexico with groups of motor home enthusiasts, traveled extensively throughout Canada, attended national motor home rallies each year and joined the Masonic Family Camping Club.

"They'd miss the grandkids, so they'd come home for a while," said another daughter, Dottie O'Neill of Hamilton.

Mrs. Guice's last motor home trip was in 1999, not long before her husband died of lung cancer.

About six years ago, several former students from Mrs. Guice's first third-grade class at Cockeysville Elementary contacted her, and she began meeting them regularly for lunch. "She had a real heart for her students," her son said. "She taught for so many years and never forgot a single student."

She enjoyed baking, knitting and cross-stitch.

She also was a devoted sports fan and closely followed the Orioles, Colts and Ravens, as well as the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Out of hatred for the New York Yankees, Mrs. Guice also became something of a Boston Red Sox fan, her daughters said.

Shortly before her death, with the Red Sox on the verge of elimination in the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians, Mrs. Guice told her daughter that she was losing interest in the baseball playoffs.

"After she died, we were joking that she had to go up there to make some changes so [the Red Sox] would make it to the World Series," Mrs. O'Neill said of her mother.

In addition to her daughters and son, Mrs. Guice is survived by a sister, Jane Kaderly of Kent Island; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

jennifer.mcmenamin@baltsun.com

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