Dr. John "Jack" Mannen Arthur, the first mental health consultant to be appointed by the Baltimore County public schools, died Feb. 7 at his home in Roland Park. He was 94.
He was born in Kansas City, Kan., in 1916 to Matilda Streuning and John Mannen Arthur Jr., an executive at Kansas City Power and Light.
Dr. Arthur studied at the University of Kansas, Lawrence and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, from which he graduated in 1943.
Annette Arthur, Dr. Arthur's second wife, said he began his career in psychiatry after his father was saved from a nervous breakdown by a psychiatrist. Mrs. Sunny Lenz, Dr. Arthur's daughter, said the help her grandfather received so impressed her father that he decided to go into psychiatry.
Dr. Arthur served in the Army during World War II, working at Army hospitals in Long Island, N.Y., where he treated soldiers suffering from shell shock, his family said.
He later moved to Baltimore to complete his psychiatric residency at the Baltimore Psychoanalytic Institute and the psychiatric division of the University of Maryland Hospital.
In 1946, Dr. Arthur married Helen Hewitt, M.D., whom he met in medical school. They had two daughters.
Dr. Arthur and his family moved to Roland Park and he worked as a psychiatrist for the Child Study Center of Maryland, a boarding school for emotionally disturbed children, from 1949 to 1953.
In the 1960s, he served two terms as PTA president for Roland Park Elementary School. Mrs. Lenz said her father would often ask his children for advice on improving the school.
After his wife died, Dr. Arthur in 1954 married the former Annette Burt Smith, a native of England who had worked with children in London during the wartime bombings. The couple had two children, Caroline and James.
Dr. Arthur continued his professional training with the Washington School of Psychiatry, the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Society and the University of Maryland Psychiatric Institute.
From 1968 to 1984, Dr. Arthur served as director of mental health services for schoolchildren for the Baltimore County Health Department.
"He was very adept at talking with children. He was able to listen," his wife said. "He was always open and honest. He was able to communicate with everybody."
When parents asked him how to help their children, Mrs. Lenz said, he would simply say, "Listen to them."
After leaving the Baltimore County public schools, Dr. Arthur continued his private practice until he retired at age 80.
In addition to working to improve the lives of children, Mrs. Lenz said, her father also was a strong advocate for women's rights, a cause whose importance he impressed upon his children.
"He was an advocate for equality and freedom," she said.
Dr. Arthur loved to sing and enjoyed artists such as Louis Armstrong and Perry Como, his daughter said.
Mrs. Lenz said her father was also a "Mr. Fix-It" and built many pieces of furniture in his basement shop.
He was preceded in death by his siblings, James L. Arthur, Virginia Wilson and Kathleen Briggs.
Dr. Arthur is survived by his wife, Annette R. Arthur; four children, Kim Arthur of Madison, N.J., Sunny Lenz of Buckingham County, Va., Caroline Arthur of Ithaca, N.Y., and James Arthur of Leicester, Mass.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Dr. Arthur's life will be held at the family home on Feb. 26.