Shirley L. Tansey, clinical social worker, dies

She returned to college later in life and earned an additional degree in order to enter mental health field

  • Shirley Tansey
Shirley Tansey
July 28, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Shirley L. Tansey, a retired mental health counselor and licensed clinical social worker who had worked at Taylor Manor Hospital and the Johns Hopkins University, died Saturday of Alzheimer's disease at the Charlestown retirement community.

She was 92.

The daughter of a letter carrier and a homemaker, she was born Shirley Llewellyn and raised in Anaheim, Calif., where she graduated in 1936 from Union High School.

After graduating in 1939 from the University of California at Berkeley, she did graduate work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

After her 1940 marriage to Army Lt. Samuel C. Jones, the couple were stationed in the Philippine Islands, and after the outbreak of World War II, she was sent to Oakland, Calif., where she was recreational director at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital.

Her husband, who was captured by the Japanese and survived the Bataan Death March, was killed in 1944 when the Japanese POW transport he was aboard was torpedoed by a U.S. submarine.

She met her second husband, Dr. John J. Tansey, a University of Maryland School of Medicine graduate who was heading to a naval assignment in the Pacific, while they were traveling aboard a train for California.

The couple married in 1946 after a two-week courtship. They relocated to Baltimore after Dr. Tansey completed his training in orthopedic surgery at the University of Maryland medical school.

They lived for more than 50 years at Foxhall Farms, their 10-acre farm near Catonsville, before moving to Charlestown in 2007.

Dr. Tansey, who was the founder of Orthopedic Associates of Central Maryland and headed the amputee and prosthetic clinic at Kernan Hospital, died in 2009.

After raising her children, Mrs. Tansey returned to graduate school and earned a master's degree in mental health counseling in 1973 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She became a licensed clinical social worker.

"She had a love of people and liked working with young people and was very good at it," recalled Dr. Ghislaine Godenne of Roland Park, who taught Mrs. Tansey at Hopkins.

Mrs. Tansey worked at the old Taylor Manor Hospital in Ellicott City and on the Homewood campus of Hopkins. She also had volunteered at Spring Grove State Hospital.

She was a member of the Johns Hopkins Club and the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of Angels Chapel at Charlestown, 711 Maiden Choice Lane.

Surviving are a son, John L. Tansey of Cedarcroft; and a daughter, Sheila M. Hughes of Oakland, Garrett County.

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