Sara R. Sullivan, Harford County Teacher

December 01, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Sara R. Sullivan, whose career as a Harford County educator spanned nearly 60 years, died from a stroke Tuesday at Stony Batter, her 19th-century Fallston home. She was 98.

Sara Robinson, the daughter of a grist mill owner and a homemaker, was born and raised in Street. After graduating from Dublin High School in 1928, she earned a bachelor's degree from Western Maryland College in 1932.

Mrs. Sullivan began her teaching career that year at Slate Ridge High School, where she taught English, French and social studies.

In later years, she was on the faculty of Bel Air Middle School, North Harford High School and South Hampton Middle School before retiring in 1978.

During World War II, she worked with the Rationing Board. From 1948 to 1957, when she returned to teaching at North Harford High School, Mrs. Sullivan owned and operated Maplehurst Play Center, a preschool and kindergarten, which she operated from Stony Batter.

"During her career, she educated thousands of students," said her son, Clarence John Sullivan Jr., who lives in Bel Air and is director of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation.

"She was a well-loved teacher, and many of her former students became her friends and visited with her in her Fallston home," said Todd Holden, a retired Aegis reporter who described her as "one neat lady ... sharp as a tack right up to the end."

In 1936, she married Clarence John Sullivan, the tax assessor for Harford County, who died in 1962.

A world traveler, Mrs. Sullivan, who had lived at Stony Batter since 1936, enjoyed gardening and riding her tractor.

She was in her 90s and still enjoyed riding in the sidecar of her son's motorcycle, family members said.

Mrs. Sullivan was a longtime member of the Fallston Club and the Chimney Corner Club, and for years she hosted the Chimney Corner Club's annual summer picnic at Stony Batter.

She was recognized as a Harford County Living Treasure in 1997 by Eileen Rehrmann, then county executive, and the Harford County Council.

Mrs. Sullivan was a member of the Retired Teachers of Harford County, the Retired Teachers of the State of Maryland and the American Association of University Women, and was longtime secretary for the Class of 1932 at what is now McDaniel College.

Mrs. Sullivan was a communicant of St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, 533 E. Jarrettsville Road, Hickory, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Also surviving are a daughter, Susan Sullivan Hess of Fallston; four grandsons; and four great-grandchildren.

- Frederick N. Rasmussen

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