Ruth B. Chapin (Handout, Baltimore Sun )
Ruth B. Chapin, a retired educator and volunteer who had been admissions director at Calvert School, died Saturday at Gilchrist Hospice Care.
The longtime Ruxton resident was 88.
The daughter of a Methodist minister and a homemaker, Ruth M. Keele Brooks was born in Cooperstown, N.Y., and was raised in several towns in upstate New York where her father was pastor for local churches.
"They were basically small towns along the upper reaches of the Susquehanna River," said a son, David W. Chapin, who lives in Cockeysville.
After graduating from Wyoming Seminary in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1940, she attended Goucher College for a year.
She later attended Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y., and Syracuse University. She earned a bachelor's degree in education from the Johns Hopkins University in 1966 and a master's degree in education in 1971, also from Hopkins.
From 1942 to 1944, she was an assistant safety supervisor at International Business Machine in New York, and worked in the company's personnel department in 1945.
After her marriage in 1945 to Edward Dexter Chapin, the couple moved to Baltimore. Mr. Chapin, a Social Security Administration casualty and disabilities lawyer, died in 2000.
Mrs. Chapin taught at the old Bluebird School in Ruxton from 1955 to 1959. In 1960, she was one of the original faculty members of the Valley School in the Green Spring Valley.
From 1965 to 1975, she was a tutor, teacher and director of admissions at Calvert School in North Baltimore. After leaving the private school, she went to work in the department of education at St. Agnes Hospital.
She retired in 1985.
Mrs. Chapin began volunteering in the 1980s at Kid's Place, which had been founded in Pigtown in 1982 by Helen Derry Martien and is associated with Paul's Place. Kid's Place offered neighborhood children a safe place to avoid street violence and drugs.
Mrs. Chapin started many Kid's Place programs as well as organizing and running summer camps.
"Ruth was totally dedicated to the children of the neighborhood. She started many programs that offered safe play and helped Pigtown children be children," said William J. McLennan, who is executive director of Paul's Place.
"She was easygoing, warmhearted and had a real natural ability and connection with children" he said.
Dr. Diane M. Dwyer, a Baltimore physician, got to know Mrs. Chapin about 15 years ago when their church group made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
"It was through Ruth that I began volunteering at Kid's Place. She was always interested in the well-being of all children," said Dr. Dwyer.
"She was a very kind, caring person who was interested in social causes such as peace and justice," she said.
Mrs. Chapin also volunteered at St. Joseph Medical Center and Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
For years, going back to the 1920s, Mrs. Chapin vacationed with her family in Ocean Grove, N.J., and later bought a second home in Tenants Harbor, Maine.
"She had a great fondness for coastal Maine, and in later life came to enjoy spending winters in Maine and summers in Ruxton," her son said.
"She enjoyed reading, listening to music and quiet reflection while looking over Penobscot Bay," he said.
She had been a member of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Thomaston, Maine, and Port Clyde Baptist Church in Port Clyde, Maine.
Mrs. Chapin was a member and former vestry member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Carrollton and Boyce avenues, Ruxton, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
She is also survived by another son, Peter B. Chapin of Cockeysville; and four grandchildren.