Marion P. Szymanski, elementary teacher

February 23, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Marion P. Szymanski, a retired Baltimore County public school educator who enjoyed entertaining children with her stories, died Feb. 12 of pulmonary disease at her Edgemere home. She was 75.

Marion Phillips, the daughter of a Bethlehem Steel worker and a concert pianist, was born in Baltimore and was raised in the Lodge Forest neighborhood, near Edgemere.

She was a 1952 graduate of Sparrows Point High School and began teaching kindergarten at Chesapeake Terrace Elementary School in 1964.

In the early 1970s, she earned a bachelor's degree in education from what is now Towson University and a master's degree in education in 1976 from the Johns Hopkins University.

She later taught kindergarten and first grade at Fort Howard and Glenmar elementary schools before becoming a Title I teacher in the early 1970s, working with needy children and their families in southeastern Baltimore County.

Mrs. Szymanski, whose parents were immigrants from Wales, was proud of her Welsh heritage.

Each St. David's Day, which commemorates the death of the patron saint of Wales, Mrs. Szymanski dressed as a Welsh doll and told Welsh folk tales to her students, family members said.

"She also played the autoharp while doing her storytelling," said her daughter, Linda Wojick of Sparrows Point.

Mrs. Szymanski had been an active member of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County and had been active in Democratic politics in eastern Baltimore County.

She was an amateur geologist with an interest in volcanoes and had traveled to Hawaii, Iceland and Bermuda in pursuit of these hobbies.

Mrs. Szymanski was an accomplished gourmet cook.

At Mrs. Szymanski's request, no services will be held.

Also surviving are her husband of 55 years, Richard E. Syzmanski, a former Baltimore County public school music teacher and professional musician; and five grandchildren. Her son, Ricky Szymanski, died in 1999.

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