Ruth Whitney Seabold, teacher, dies at 106

  • Ruth W. Seabold
Ruth W. Seabold (Handout, BALTIMORE SUN )
December 06, 2010|By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

Ruth Whitney Seabold, a retired Franklin Senior High School social studies teacher, died of a circulation ailment Nov. 29 at Seminole Nursing Pavilion in Seminole, Fla. The former Reisterstown resident was 106.

She was born Ruth Asenath Whitney on June 16, 1904, in Baltimore to Charles E. Whitney and Gertrude Widerman Whitney. Her father owned a Walbrook hardware store at the corner of West North Avenue and what was then called Ninth Street.

In 1911 her family moved to Reisterstown, where her father had a 40-acre farm at Berrymans Lane and Nicodemus Road. As a child, she helped him tend chickens, shell lima beans, dig potatoes, pick up chestnuts and pick berries to sell, family members said.

She attended Franklin Elementary School from 1912 to 1918 and Franklin High School from 1918 to 1922, when she graduated. She took a streetcar to Goucher College, then on St. Paul Street, and earned an English degree. Mrs. Seabold later attended in-service professional training at the University of Maryland at College Park, Columbia University, American University, the University of Michigan and the United Nations Workshop.

Her teaching career spanned 39 years in Maryland public high schools in Howard, Carroll and Baltimore counties. Her first post was in West Friendship in Howard County. She retired from Franklin Senior High School in 1965 after having taught English, history and social studies for 22 years.

In 1935, Ruth Whitney married C. Wightman "Sox" Seabold, who was also a Franklin teacher; he headed the vocational agricultural education department. They appeared together in an episode of the Maryland State Teachers' Association's television program "Life with Teacher," a 1950s show dedicated to public school teachers and their interests outside the classroom.

Mrs. Seabold served as Franklin chairman of the social studies department for many years. In 1949 she organized the United Nations Youth Organization and served as its adviser until her retirement. She organized and chaperoned a yearly field trip to New York to visit the United Nations headquarters. She was also Franklin's junior and senior class adviser.

Mrs. Seabold wrote "Social Hygiene through Group Guidance in the Curriculum," which was published in the professional magazine Education in 1954. She helped develop courses of study for Baltimore County social studies curricula.

She served on committees of the Maryland State Teachers Association and was a past board member of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.

She and her husband traveled widely. She later retired to Florida, where she resided for nearly 30 years.

While she lived in Reisterstown, she had been a member of Glyndon United Methodist Church.

Survivors include a nephew, W. Ronald Seabold of Playa del Rey, Calif., and a niece, Jan Seabold Bradley of Reisterstown. Her husband died in 1982.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.

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