Otis B. Read III, a Boys' Latin School teacher and coach and former head of its middle school, died of cancer Wednesday at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. He was 75 and lived in Mays Chapel in Timonium.
Born in Ipswich, Mass., he was the son of a Baptist minister who founded Open Bible Tabernacle in Hamilton and a homemaker. He came to Boys' Latin as a 10th-grader and graduated from the school in 1955. While there, he learned to play lacrosse.
He then earned a degree at the Johns Hopkins University, where he was a member of the 1957 national championship lacrosse team.
According to a biographical sketch supplied by the school, Mr. Read returned to Boys' Latin while he was a Hopkins student. In 1957, he coached the 130-pound six-man football team. He later coached the junior varsity basketball team and served as the 1960 assistant varsity lacrosse coach under Okey O'Connor, who had been his old coach and mentor at the school.
"Boys' Latin hit a crossroad in the spring of 1960. The school's property on Brevard Street was designated for urban renewal, and the school was forced to either relocate or cease operations," said the school's director of alumni relations, Mac Kennedy.
Mr. Read helped move the school to its present campus on West Lake Avenue in the fall of 1960.
"He was instrumental in the move to Lake Avenue," said Dyson Ehrhardt, associate headmaster for development. "He was a main player. We were all together in that big white building, 123 kids from kindergarten to the 12th grade. We worked from 7 in the morning until 8 at night some days. We coached, drove the school bus or a truck to take the kids to the Pikesville Armory for sports. Otis was there from the start."
Mr. Read taught English, history, biology and science and directed the summer school. He also coached varsity basketball, junior varsity football and junior varsity lacrosse. He was head of the middle school from 1970 to 2003.
"During his more than 30-year tenure, the middle school flourished as programs grew tremendously," said headmaster Christopher J. Post. "He fostered a warm and nurturing environment, best recognized in the dedicated team of faculty and staff that he built. In fact, many of our faculty today were hired and/or taught by Otis during his time as head of middle school."
Mr. Read had not retired and at his death was associate headmaster of facilities.
He was given the school's Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2012.
"He led by example of how a man should live," said his son-in-law, Paul Montague of Timonium. "He was a wise and trusted friend."
Funeral services will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, the former Dorothy Price; a son, Scot Read of Apopka, Fla.; two daughters, Cathy Montague of Mays Chapel and Holly Redmond of Parkville; a brother, Robin Read of Stewartstown, Pa.; and five grandchildren.