William H. DeWolff Jr., educator


William H. DeWolff Jr., a retired Baltimore public school counselor and educator, died Friday of a heart attack at the Roland Park Place retirement home. He was 81.

He retired as a Southern High School counselor in 1973. Earlier, he had been vice principal of Western High School and a counselor at Garrison Junior High School, Forest Park and Edmondson high schools. He began his career in 1939 as an English teacher at Hamilton Junior High.

During the 1940s, he also taught evening and night school and was a counselor at the Johns Hopkins University Evening College from 1953 to 1970.

From 1935 to 1937, he taught English at Hampton High School in Virginia.

"He was just delightful," said Edith Pruss, a friend for 60 years and a fellow teacher. "He was such a breezy person who had a happy outlook on life. His students just loved him, and he was a big help to them as a counselor."

"He touched a huge number of kids," said his friend and lawyer, former state Sen. Julian L. Lapides, a Baltimore Democrat.

Mr. Lapides described him as a "true, old-fashioned gentleman who was very courtly and punctilious. He was the most courteous person I ever knew. He was my dear friend.

"He was strong in his opinions but was exceedingly considerate of others. He was the kind of person who expected excellence and gave excellence," Mr. Lapides said.

Mr. DeWolff was known for maintaining a voluminous correspondence with friends. He left instructions that they be notified of his death in an engraved announcement, Mr. Lapides said.

The former Bolton Hill resident moved to Roland Park Place in 1989 and was elected president of the Residents' Association in 1991.

He was known as "Mr. Roland Park Place" because of his service as a member and president of the association, such as arranging lectures, and his efforts to resolve tenants' complaints.

Born in Walbrook and later reared in Milford, he attended city schools and was a 1930 graduate of Forest Park High School. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1934 from the Johns Hopkins University, where he also took graduate courses .

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St., Baltimore.

He is survived by a sister, Janet D. Crevensten of Towson; and a niece, Janet C. Phillips of Cambridge.

Memorial donations may be made to the Residence Assistance Fund or the Health Care Center Expansion Fund of Roland Park Place.

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