Anna Baginski, Navy nurse, guidance counselor

November 10, 2008|By GUS G. SENTEMENTES

Anna Baginski, who served in the Navy as a nurse at the end of World War II and later worked as a school guidance counselor in Baltimore County for 20 years, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Oct. 30 at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. She was 87.

Anna Spock was born in Kulpmont, Pa., to parents who had emigrated from Ukraine. She attended public schools in the town and, upon graduating from high school, went to the Geisinger School of Nursing in Danville, Pa.

She graduated in 1942 and taught at the school for a few years before joining the Navy Nurse Corps in early 1945. She was stationed at Philadelphia Naval Hospital for several months, treating war veterans with limb injuries, her son said.

After the war, she returned home for a brief time to Kulpmont before enrolling at Columbia University. During this period, she started seeing Daniel Baginski, a Navy corpsman who had worked with her in Philadelphia. She earned her bachelor's degree in May 1950; a month later, the couple married.

They moved to Baltimore, and Mrs. Baginski worked for several years as a supervisor of medical students at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She continued her education at Loyola College, earning a master's degree in education in 1966. Shortly afterward, she started work for the Baltimore County school system as a school nurse.

She became a guidance counselor at Ridge School, which is now called Ridge Ruxton School, and worked with special-needs students until her retirement in 1987, said her son, Daniel Mark Baginski of Freeland. By that time, she had been divorced for nearly a decade and lived in Baltimore County.

"She just loved to work and did it joyously," Mr. Baginski said. "She was a career woman and a mother. All the ladies were stay-at-home moms, but my mother did work. She kept a good house."

Dr. Allen Shoemaker, a clinical psychologist who was close to Mrs. Baginski, said she considered him an adoptive son after he counseled her through personal challenges.

"This is a lady who backed off of nothing," Dr. Shoemaker said. "She's going to be terribly missed. Terribly missed. I'm just ... proud to have spent 33 years with her."

A memorial Mass will be offered at noon tomorrow at the Stella Maris Chapel, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road in Timonium.

In addition to her son, Mrs. Baginski is survived by a daughter, Nancy Schachinger of Bondville, Vt.; a sister, Mary Spock Povlishock of Vienna, Va.; a brother, Dr. Alexander Spock of Durham, N.C.; and a granddaughter.

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