Gerald "Jerry" Smith, a retired Baltimore County social studies teacher whose career spanned 25 years, died Oct. 4 of renal failure at St. Agnes Hospital.

The Charlestown Retirement Community resident was 81.

The son of a Hecht Co. painter and a homemaker, Mr. Smith was born in Baltimore and raised on Stricker Street.

After graduating from Calvert Hall College High School in 1947, he served in the Navy.

He earned a bachelor's degree in education from what is now Towson University and a master's degree in 1967 from what is now Loyola University Maryland.

Mr. Smith, who began his career in 1966, taught social studies at Arbutus and Pikesville junior high schools. He retired in 1991 from Lansdowne Middle School. Earlier, he had taught at the Maryland School for the Blind.

The former Lansdowne and Ocean Pines resident, who had lived at Charlestown for the past four years, was an avid fan of detective fiction and crossword puzzles. He also liked working in his flower garden.

His wife of 44 years, the former Marian Celeste Mitchell, died in 2008.

He was a communicant of Our Lady of the Angels at Charlestown.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Oct. 22 in the Lady Chapel of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St.

Mr. Smith is survived by two sons, Joseph Smith of Pasadena and Jerry Smith of Cedarcroft; a daughter, Julia Lagarde of Frederick; a brother, Brendan Smith of Kent Island; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com