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Kenneth Graeme Menzies

Washington College (Maryland)AnglicanismChristianityAnne Arundel Medical CenterRochester Lancers

Kenneth Graeme Menzies, a retired Gilman School teacher and lacrosse coach, died of complications from an infection Sept. 1 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Stevensville resident was 84.

Born in Baltimore, he was the son of John T. Menzies, the London-born president of Crosse & Blackwell, a food processing firm that once made orange marmalade and other products at its Baltimore plant. His mother was Hilda May Ranson, a homemaker. They family lived at Braeside off Broadway Road in Baltimore County.

Mr. Menzies, who was known as Graeme, was a 1947 graduate of the Gilman School, where he wrestled and played football. He was a member of the 1947 Gilman lacrosse team that won the Maryland Scholastic Association title.

He earned a degree at Washington College in Chestertown, where he played lacrosse and was captain of the 1952 team.

"He was a great gentleman and a wonderful player," said retired Evening Sun sports editor Bill Tanton, who lives in Baltimore. "In those days, there was only one lacrosse division. He played against Maryland, Hopkins, Navy, Virginia, and Washington and Lee — all the top teams."

Mr. Menzies led the team in scoring with 28 goals and nine assists. He later received a master's degree in education from the Johns Hopkins University.

He joined the Gilman School faculty and taught American history in the lower school. He was also a junior varsity lacrosse coach for many years. According to a 1970 Baltimore Sun article, his teams won six A Conference championships, and he compiled an overall record of 81 wins and seven losses.

In the summer of 1970 he also coached the Lancers Club team, a youth club. Among its members were future Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. The team competed overseas in Australia and in Hong Kong.

"He had a twinkle in his eye, an amused smile, a gentle and calm manner that is very memorable to this day," said a former student, Clay Primrose, a resident of Mexico.

After coaching junior varsity, he was named varsity lacrosse coach in 1970, a post he held until 1974. His team won the 1973 MSA championship as well as a state championship.

"He was terrific with his students. They admired him so much. He was so popular. He was also a humble man. He meant a lot to a lot of people. He had wonderful values," said William C. "Bill" Crawford, a Baltimore resident and fellow Gilman classmate. "He was one of the most admired and popular teachers at the school."

Mr. Menzies lived on the Gilman campus and had a pet German Shepherd, Flicka, who accompanied him to classes and athletic fields.

A 1973 Sun article called Flicka the team's "unofficial mascot" and said that while Mr. Menzies "wasn't a superstitious man" he did not take any chances and took Flicka to Homewood Field for an end-of-season game against Towson High School for the state championship game.

"Graeme had a wonderful sense of humor," said former Gilman School Headmaster John E. Schmick, a Baltimore resident. "He also had a terrific spirit. He was bright and had an astute knowledge of the game. He made playing lacrosse a lot of fun."

After teaching at the school for nearly 37 years, he retired to Love Point on the Eastern Shore.

"He was devoted to his children and grandchildren and loved to go fishing," said his son, Kenneth Graeme Menzies Jr. of Severna Park. "He once had a powerboat and would cruise the Intercostal Waterway from Maryland to Florida. He even took it over to the Bahamas. He also fished the bay just off Love Point."

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane in Owings Mills.

In addition to his son, survivors include a daughter, Evelyn Trenholm Menzies Naeny of Stevensville; a sister, Patricia Fusting of Timonium; and four grandchildren. His marriages to Evelyn Chisolm Cassels-Smith and Susan Reed ended in divorce.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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