Marlene Greer-Chase

Morgan State University professor was friendly, outgoing and perceptive - 'a wonderful teacher'

April 14, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Dr. Marlene E. Greer-Chase, a retired Morgan State University professor and an active member of Ames Memorial United Methodist Church, died of chronic pulmonary obstructive disease April 6 at Season's Hospice in Randallstown. She was 74.

Marlene Greer was born in Taylors, S.C., and moved to West Baltimore with her family in 1937. She was a 1952 graduate of Douglass High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Morgan State University in 1956. She also held a master's degree from the University of North Dakota.

In 1955, she married James H. Chase, a career Air Force officer, who had been her high school and college sweetheart.

While her husband was serving at an Air Force base in Anchorage, Alaska, she taught business education at Anchorage East and later Anchorage West high schools from 1970 to 1982. She also had been director of training at the Anchorage Opportunities Industrialization Center.

After she and her husband divorced, Dr. Greer-Chase earned a doctorate from Florida State University in the 1980s.

In 1984, she joined the faculty of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where she taught teacher education and professional educational development. During her years at UMES, Dr. Greer-Chase was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed her to travel and study in Senegal and Ghana.

In 1992, she was named an assistant professor of teacher education and professional educational development at Morgan State University. Dr. Greer-Chase also headed the master's of arts teaching program at the Northeast Baltimore university.

"She was my best and closest friend, and we worked together for 16 years at Morgan," said Dr. Flossie E. Windley, who teaches teacher education.

"She was totally involved and taught both undergraduate and graduate students. She was also totally involved in so many on-campus activities such as the Morgan State University Women's Organization, which she served as president from 2001 to 2007," Dr. Windley said.

"Everyone looked up to Marlene, and the students just loved her. They would seek her out for advice and counsel," she said.

Allan R. Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Taylor Made Transportation Service Inc., a Baltimore transportation firm that specializes in ambulance and wheelchair services, is a former student of Dr. Greer-Chase.

"I studied with her at UMES, and later she had me as a guest lecturer in her classes at Morgan," said Mr. Taylor, who credits his former teacher with changing his life. "She helped me focus and establish my own business where I could be my own boss and not have to work for corporate America."

After graduating from college, Mr. Taylor and Dr. Greer-Chase remained close friends. "She treated me like I was one of her sons," he said. "She would always include me in family dinners and when she had visiting guests."

Virginia B. Vauls, who worked in the finance department at Morgan, is another longtime friend. "Marlene was friendly and an outgoing, gregarious lady," Mrs. Vauls recalled. "She was a very perceptive person and a good organizer and coordinator. And the students were just crazy about her."

Donna Loray Chase of Gwynn Oak is one of Dr. Greer-Chase's daughters.

"I remember when we were in Anchorage and I was in the same school as my mother. That could be uncomfortable, but kids would come up and say, 'I have your mother, and she's really a wonderful teacher,' " Ms. Chase recalled. "So I guess she left an impression on them, and it's impossible to say how many lives she touched."

Dr. Greer-Chase, who retired in 2008, also was a Sunday school teacher and conducted calligraphy classes.

Dr. Greer-Chase had been an active board member of the Morgan Christian Center and was a member of the Baltimore chapter of the Links, Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and the Philomathians.

The Pikesville resident was a longtime member of Ames Memorial United Methodist Church.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at her church, 1529 N. Carey St.

Also surviving are a son, James Anthony "Tony" Chase of San Francisco; another daughter, Joyce Nadine Chase of Seattle; and two grandchildren.

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