Dorothy G. Hellman

Educator

  • Dorothy Hellman
Dorothy Hellman (Baltimore Sun )
April 08, 2011|By Baltimore Sun reporter

Dorothy G. Hellman, a retired teacher who founded a book club, died April 1 from complications of a stroke at Roland Park Place. She was 98.

The daughter of an accountant and a homemaker, Dorothy Gurkin was born and raised in Newark, N.J., where she graduated in 1930 from South Side High School.

She began her college career at Brenau College in Gainesville, Ga., and later transferred to what is now Montclair University in New Jersey, where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1934 in education.

She later earned a master's degree in history at Montclair and did doctoral studies at Columbia University during the 1970s.

During the 1930s, she taught history and English literature at high schools in New Jersey and Great Neck, N.Y.

"She was particularly interested in the development of democracy, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams," said a son, Jesse M. Hellmam of Ruxton. "There was virtually nothing in the humanities that did not interest her, and in which she did not excel."

She was married in 1939 to Dr. Sidney Hellman, a surgeon, and moved with him to New York City, and later to Great Neck, where she was active in community activities, and enjoyed painting and sailing on the Long Island Sound.

After her husband's death in 1975, she moved to Harper House in Cross Keys, where she continued to live independently until January, and drove her car until she was 97.

For years, Mrs. Hellman taught classes in literature and history at the Renaissance Institute at Notre Dame College of Maryland. She also was the founder in the 1990s of Literature Hounds, a book club.

Services were April 3.

Also surviving are two other sons, Richard H. Hellman of Mount Washington and Gerard C. Hellman of Grandview, N.Y.; a sister, Mildred "Mitzi" McClosky of Berkeley, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen

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