Shirley R. More, a retired social worker who earlier had been a Baltimore County public school teacher, died Monday from complications of Alzheimer's disease at Bonnie Blink, the Maryland Masonic Home in Hunt Valley, where she had moved this year. She was 90.
The daughter of Walter A. Reed, a bank president, and Agnes Gordon Reed, a homemaker, Shirley Agnes Reed was born and raised in Corning, N.Y., where she graduated from high school in 1940.
After earning a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1944 from Albany State Teachers College — now the State University at Albany — she began teaching math at Oneonta High School in Oneonta, N.Y.
A graduate of the school, Capt. William L. "Bill" More, a decorated Marine who had fought across the Pacific with the 4th Marine Division and survived the battle for Iwo Jima, returned to his old high school after World War II to see former teachers and friends.
"The moment I came in the back door, my English teacher, Mrs. Super, said in a booming voice like I had forgotten my homework, 'William, you are just the person I want to see. I'm chaperoning a dance Saturday night and we have a new math teacher here, Miss Reed, who is going to help me. I want you to go to Homeroom 33 and introduce yourself. She is young and beautiful,'" Mr. More recalled.
"I said, 'Yes, ma'am,' and told her I had never met a math teacher who wasn't hungry for a date, so I went up there and here was this beautiful woman. Mrs. Super was right. I walked her home and asked if she wanted to go out to dinner," said Mr. More. "We did, and after dinner, I informed her that we were going to get married, and we did on June 22, 1946."
The couple moved to Cornell, N.Y., where Mr. More earned his bachelor's degree from Cornell University. They were living in Quebec when Mr. More was recalled to active duty during the Korean War.
They settled in Baltimore in 1955. From 1955 to 1964, Mrs. More taught math part-time in Baltimore County public schools.
They later moved to a home in Deer Park, near Soldiers Delight, in Baltimore County. There she volunteered as a Girl Scout troop leader and helped her husband make Liberty Road Baseball into one of the largest area Little Leagues, with 1,200 players and 86 teams.
In 1964, Mrs. More decided to work as a full-time mathematician and applied for a job doing statistical work at the old Rosewood State Hospital.
"She was told by the hiring psychiatrist that she was a wonderful mathematician but would be happier as a social worker," said her daughter, Cindy Bowie of Hunt Valley. "Taking his advice, she became a social worker for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services."
Mrs. More worked in the foster care division helping parents who provided foster care to children, many of whom had special needs, from 1964 until her retirement in 1982.
"She was always a leader and very dependable," said Susan "Susie" McBride Murphy, a social worker who lives in Anneslie and worked with Mrs. More for years. "She was very thorough, and the clients liked working with her. And she became particularly close to some of them."
"Shirley was very helpful to me," Mrs. Murphy said. "She was always very pleasant and proper. ... She was an awfully nice person who tried to find the good in people."
After retiring, Mrs. More and her husband worked side by side in community and Masonic organizations. Among the largest events she helped bring to fruition was the 4th Marine Division Association, World War II reunion in 2001, when her husband was president of the association. The event brought together more than 1,000 veterans from the 4th Marine Division, and also the 3rd and 5th Marine Divisions, at the Litton Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
Mrs. More, an animal lover who was especially fond of her golden retrievers, was an active volunteer with Pets on Wheels.
"Not only did she love her dogs, she had a fondness for nature, feeding the opossums, squirrels and birds," said Mrs. Bowie. "She and my father even were known to have the deer eat from their hands at the back door."
Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 22, followed by funeral services at the Haight Funeral Home, 6416 Sykesville Road, Sykesville.
In addition to her husband, a retired Exxon marketing representative, and her daughter, Mrs. More is survived by a son, Douglas More of Fort Worth, Texas; and four grandchildren. Another son, Dr. William W. More, died in 1994.Copyright © 2015, CT Now