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Joy Charlene Naden, educator, longtime chair of Department of Health and Mental Hygiene board

Joy Charlene Naden, a longtime educator and executive on several Democratic political campaigns and chair of the Board of Review for the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, died Saturdayat her Cross Keys home of acute myologic leukemia. She was 79.

Born Joy Rosenberg and raised in Liberty Heights, Ms. Naden attended Forest Park High School. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maryland in 1955, then received a master's degree in education from the Johns Hopkins University.

Ms. Naden began her teaching career at Southern High School in 1955. She later joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, where she taught English, writing and public speaking. She retired from teaching in 2005.

"I would send her a birthday card," her son, Andrew William Naden, recalled, "and she'd correct it with red ink and send it back to me."

Ms. Naden delved into politics in 1967, working on William Donald Schaefer's campaign for city council president. She would continue working for Mr. Schaefer though his campaigns for mayor and governor. She also worked as an executive on the campaigns of former Baltimore County Executive Theodore Venetoulis and U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, her son said.

Mr. Schaefer named her chair of the state DHMH board, and she was re-appointed by governors Parris Glendening, Robert L. Erhrlich Jr. and Martin O'Malley. She was still serving at the time of her death, ruling on cases and appeals of medical assistance.

As a young girl, Ms. Naden, who at age 6 was ice-skating at halftime of professional hockey games, became a champion in that sport. She won the Mid-Atlantic regional competition at age 14.

Her son said that it was during her skating career — when she encountered discrimination as a Jewish female and was not permitted to use the locker room at any Baltimore ice rinks — that she developed a passion for fairness and justice.

Ms. Naden was a voracious reader and an avowed news junkie, her son said.

In addition to her son, Ms. Naden is survived by a daughter, Constance Jaye Shay, of Baltimore, and five grandchildren.

Services are set for 11 a.m. Monday at Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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