Benita Low

Benita Low ( )

Benita H. Low, a retired private school educator and museum docent, died Tuesday of respiratory failure at Roland Park Place. She was 97.

The daughter of Clifford Milburn Holland, an engineer for whom New York's Holland Tunnel is named, and Anna Coolidge Holland, a homemaker, the former Benita Davenport Holland was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In 1925, a year after her father's death, Mrs. Low and her family moved to Cambridge, Mass., where she graduated in 1934 from the Buckingham School. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1938 from Radcliffe College.

After graduating from Radcliffe, she was awarded the Charles Eliot Fellowship established by Harvard University. It allowed her the opportunity to study for a year at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.

She returned from Greece and earned a master's degree in the classics from Radcliffe, which in 1999 merged with Harvard University and is now known as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

In 1941, she married Theodore Lewis Low, an art historian, and moved to New York City when her husband joined the education department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The couple moved to Baltimore in 1946, when Mr. Low was named director of education for what is now the Walters Art Museum. The couple divorced in 1973, and he died in 1987.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Mrs. Low taught ancient history, Greek and Latin at Bryn Mawr School. After retiring from teaching, she was a docent at the Walters.

The longtime Towson resident was active in the League of Women Voters, the Towson Library, and the Citizens Planning and Housing Association.

For the past decade, Mrs. Low had lived at Roland Park Place. She enjoyed reading and traveling.

She also liked taking classes at the Johns Hopkins University and was a member of the Renaissance Institute at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Plans for services to be held in Cambridge, Mass., are incomplete.

Mrs. Low is survived by three sons, Bruce Low of Mount Washington, Clifford Low of Monkton and Theodore Low of Deerfield, Mass.; a daughter, Dorianne Low of Cambridge, Mass.; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com