Delores J. Carter

Age 77: She taught for three decades and was instrumental in organizing a Junior Olympics event in Cherry Hill.

"She loved children and thought she could make a difference," said her niece Jaye Richardson.

June 23, 2008|By James Drew | James Drew,Sun reporter

Delores J. Carter, a retired Baltimore City schools physical education teacher, died of complications from cancer and emphysema June 14 at Maryland General Hospital. She was 77 years old and had lived in the Milford Mill area of Baltimore County.

Delores Watson Jackson was born in Baltimore and grew up on Madison Avenue. She graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1949. Mrs. Carter earned an undergraduate degree in physical education from Morgan State College in 1954 and an undergraduate degree in elementary education in 1958 from Coppin State Teachers College.

Mrs. Carter spent most of her 31-year teaching career in the Cherry Hill community, said a niece, Jaye Richardson. Mrs. Carter's accomplishments included developing a swimming program for children at the indoor pool and helping to organize a Junior Olympics event in Cherry Hill. She worked for Baltimore City schools from 1958 to 1989. She held posts at Patapsco Elementary School, Tilghman Tench Elementary School, Mount Wynans Elementary School, Harvey Johnson Elementary and Junior High School, Victory Elementary School, Pimlico Elementary School, Brooklyn Elementary School, Dr. Carter G. Woodson Elementary School and Arundel Elementary School.

"She had a drive for excellence and enjoyed life in the fullest," said Mrs. Richardson. "She loved children and thought she could make a difference in the lives of youth. That is why she chose elementary education. She thought they were easier to shape."

Mrs. Carter received several certificates and commendations, including a listing in "Outstanding Elementary Teachers of America" in 1973. She was a member of the Baltimore Teachers Union and the National Education Association.

The "crowning achievement" of her life was a scholarship fund created by Morgan State University in her name after she made a large contribution last year, Mrs. Richardson said.

"She felt strongly about Morgan State. She always rooted for Morgan State, and any way she could help, such as fundraising, she did it," Mrs. Richardson said.

She also enjoyed traveling and reading mysteries, Mrs. Richardson said.

Mrs. Carter had two shepherd dogs, Mingo and Tobar, and after they died, she contributed to groups that promoted the humane treatment of animals, Mrs. Richardson said.

Thurston Knox said he was 13 or 14 years old when he met Mrs. Carter.

He described her as "very outgoing and very feisty."

"She let you know how she felt, regardless of how you might take it. She did not do it to be mean. She did it because it was her way," Mr. Knox said.

Friends could read her newspapers and magazines, but only after she read them, Mr. Knox said.

"She didn't pull any punches. She always tried to bring out the best in people," he said.

Mr. Knox said Mrs. Carter loved football and basketball, in particular the Ravens and the Chicago Bulls when Michael Jordan was on the team.

As a former physical education teacher, Mrs. Carter was upset when her health declined, Mr. Knox said.

"I consider myself very fortunate and blessed to have been a part of her life. She gave me much more than I could ever have given her," he said.

Evelon Jordan said she met Mrs. Carter in 1952 when they were "flex-o-liner" file clerks in the Social Security's old Candler Building headquarters on Pratt Street.

The two kept in touch, gathering for reunions with Social Security employees. In 2000, Mrs. Carter celebrated her 70th birthday with friends by taking a train trip from Chicago to California.

Julia Coleman said Mrs. Carter was a close friend.

"I spoke with her every day, and sometimes she would call me two or three times a day. We would chat and laugh. ... The last time she called me, she said 'I love you' and hung up. And that was it."

Funeral services will be at 6:30 p.m. today at March Funeral Home West, 4300 Wabash Ave.

In addition to her niece, survivors include her sister, Joyce L. Jackson of Randallstown; and her former husband, Donald R. Carter.

james.drew@baltsun.com

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