Merva J. Filler, Towson High Teacher

August 22, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Merva J. Filler, a retired Towson High School educator who later became secretary of the Baltimore chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, died Aug. 14 of Alzheimer's disease at Madonna Heritage, a Jarrettsville assisted-living facility. She was 82.

Merva June Dye, the daughter of an electrician and a homemaker, was born and raised in Martinsburg, W.Va. After graduating from Martinsburg High School in 1945, she earned a degree in secondary education with majors in mathematics and science from Shepherd College in 1949.

In 1949, Mrs. Filler began teaching at the old Towson Junior High School on Central Avenue, and later was on the faculty of Towson High School for 25 years before retiring in 1984.

After retiring from teaching, Mrs. Filler, who was an avid Colts fan, was secretary for a decade of the Baltimore chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Filler was married for 58 years to her college sweetheart, Mel Filler, who had been assistant football coach at Calvert Hall College High School, and earlier was assistant football coach during the 1960s to the legendary George B. Young Jr. at City College.

The former West Towson resident, who had lived in Forest Hill for 13 years, enjoyed travel, shopping and solving crossword puzzles. She also was an avid collector of owl figures.

"She always valued wisdom, and owls reflected that," said her daughter, Bonnie-Filler Cook of Forest Hill.

A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. today at North Harford Baptist Church, 4008 Old Forest Hill Road.

Also surviving are a son, Curtis Lee Filler of Forest Hill; a sister, Mila Simpson of Martinsburg; and two grandsons.

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