Laurene J. Baccala, librarian and teacher

November 02, 2008|By Mary Gail Hare

Laurene J. "Laurie" Baccala, a retired librarian and teacher, died of pneumonia Tuesday at Franklin Square Medical Center. The former Potomac resident was 84.

Born in Gardenville, Mrs. Baccala graduated from Eastern High School and enrolled at what was then Towson State Teachers College. She was later accepted at the Johns Hopkins University and earned a bachelor's degree in modern languages while working in the school's chemistry lab. She held various jobs in the publishing industry until her 1949 marriage to James N. Baccala.

When the family moved to Washington, Mrs. Baccala worked in elementary education and later at the Library of Congress, which prompted her to pursue a master's degree in library science from the University of Maryland. Until her retirement more than 20 years ago, she worked for the Montgomery County Public Library.

The Baccalas traveled frequently, making several trips to Europe. When Mr. Baccala developed Parkinson's disease, his wife became active in the Parkinson's Foundation and lobbied the state legislature on its behalf. She remained active in that organization long after Mr. Baccala died in 1986.

After moving to Oak Crest retirement center in 1996, she participated in several theatrical productions there. She also volunteered at local schools, edited the center's literary magazine and sang in the church choir.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Oak Crest Chapel.

Survivors include a son, Nicholas H. Baccala; a daughter, Laura K. Leizear of Towson; and a granddaughter.

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