Thomas Kenny Carey, teacher

Lacrosse coach had a lengthy career at Polytechnic Institute, Dulaney High School and Worcester Prep

  • Thomas K. Carey
Thomas K. Carey
March 07, 2011|By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun

Thomas Kenny Carey Sr., a retired teacher and lacrosse coach, died of injuries sustained in a fall and complications from cancer Feb. 26 at Gilchrist Hospice Care. He was 82.

Born in Baltimore, he attended Windsor Hills Elementary and Garrison Junior High schools. He was a 1946 graduate of Polytechnic Institute, where he played ice hockey. While a student at Loyola College, he married Mary Esther Carroll, whom he met at the Cahill Recreation Center near his boyhood home in Walbrook.

Family members said that after working briefly in the insurance industry, he began teaching and coaching.

Mr. Carey taught initially at Hampstead Hill and Gwynns Falls junior high schools and then took a position in the history department at Poly. He coached ice hockey at Poly until the old Sports Centre skating rink on North Avenue closed and effectively ended high school ice hockey in Baltimore at that time.

"Although he had never fired anything more powerful than a BB gun, he assumed the reins of the rifle team and won an MSA championship, despite his lack of experience in the sport," said his son, Thomas K. Carey Jr. of Rodgers Forge.

Mr. Carey was the coach of Poly's lacrosse team from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s, when the school was on North Avenue and had no adjacent athletic fields.

His son recalled that he and his students took buses and streetcars to get to Clifton Park, where the Poly lacrosse field was located.

"The Poly lacrosse team did not have the luxury of the students they competed with," his son said. "My father felt this made for a better team. His Poly teams consistently fought City for the public school MSA championship.

"He was eternally grateful to the Johns Hopkins University for the tutoring he received from its coaching staff, and he remained a strong Hopkins fan long after he stopped coaching," his son said.

Mr. Carey often led teams that featured a few players who had previous lacrosse experience. He also recruited players from the school's football team.

"He had success by blending finesse players with tough athletes," his son said. "His teams were renowned for their physicality and tenacity."

In 1967, Mr. Carey transferred to Baltimore County's public schools. He taught and coached for two years at Parkville High School before moving to Dulaney High in 1970.

He continued teaching history and psychology and coached until he retired from teaching in Baltimore-area schools in 1983. For the next 10 years, he taught at Worcester Prep in Berlin on the Eastern Shore, where he worked with the boys lacrosse team before starting a girls team.

While teaching at Polytechnic, Mr. Carey worked as a lifeguard and recreation director at Beaver Springs Swim Club in Cockeysville.

He later bought a summer home in Ocean City, where he judged body surfing and lifeguard competitions. Family members said he was an early proponent of the fitness movement and taught exercise classes at Beaver Springs and the Dulaney Adult Center. He belonged to an informal running group of Dulaney teachers.

"His affinity for teaching and exercise rubbed off on his children, all of whom completed marathons and worked as lifeguards on the Ocean City Beach Patrol," his son said.

In retirement, he assisted a grandson who was preparing for a history exam. Family members suggested he should continue working with young people, and he took a post as a cafeteria monitor at Loyola Blakefield, a part-time job that he held for nearly seven years.

Mr. Carey lived in Lutherville until moving to Ocean Pines in 1983. After retiring from Worcester Prep, he and his wife relocated to Loveton Farms in Sparks.

Friends are invited to visit from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 12 at the Fisher home at 1314 Seminary Ave., Lutherville, or from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 13 at the Everett home, 620 Oak Farm Court, Timonium.

In addition to his son, survivors include another son, Timothy Carey of Sparks; two daughters, Page Fisher of Lutherville and Patricia Everett of Timonium; and eight grandchildren. His wife died in 1994.

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