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Shirley L. Tansey, clinical social worker, dies

Baltimore Sun reporter

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 Saturdayof Alzheimer's disease at the Charlestown retirement community.

She was 92.

The daughter of a letter carrier and a homemaker, the former Shirley Llewellyn was born 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 studies 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 back to Oakland, Calif., where she was recreational director at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital.

Her husband, who had 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 had taught Mrs. Tansey at Hopkins.

"She was always very conscientious, hardworking and involved with her patients. She had quite a large practice as a mental health counselor," she said.

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 also studied Spanish at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and spent a year abroad in Spain honing her speaking skills.

Mrs. Tansey was an avid reader and enjoyed playing inter-club and league tennis at St. Timothy's Tennis Club in Catonsville. She also liked to visit Rehoboth Beach, Del.

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.

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