Marion W. Stoer, 88, school librarian in Balto. County contributor to bay book


Marion W. Stoer, a retired Baltimore County public schools librarian, died June 4 of complications of pneumonia at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. She was 88.

Mrs. Stoer, a 50-year Wilson Point resident, began her career as a librarian at the old Chase Consolidated School in 1952. She later established the library at Hawthorne Elementary School and ended her career in 1972 at Carney Elementary School.

After she retired, she was active with Literacy Volunteers of America, teaching adults to read. Many of those students were newly arrived immigrants.

For many years, Mrs. Stoer edited and reviewed children's books for The Christian Science Monitor and was a frequent contributor to The Sun and other national publications.

In a 1983 Sun article, she described a stay in Needles, Calif., where she was getting a car repaired during a 1937 trip on fabled Route 66.

"The memory comes back now as a nightmare. That day in Needles was one of the longest I have ever spent anywhere. We felt like Sydney Smith, who said the heat was so dreadful there was nothing for it but to take off his skin and sit around in his bones. The temperature was still 120 when we went to bed."

In 1973, Mrs. Stoer was selected by the Maryland Bicentennial Commission to be one of the primary authors and editors of "Chesapeake Bay in the American Revolution," which was published in 1981 to coincide with the bicentennial commemoration of the Battle of Yorktown that ended the Revolutionary War.

She brought to the book her vast knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay, her earlier writings on the Battle of Yorktown and research of British Royal Navy and U.S. Navy archives.

The former Marion West was born in Chicago and reared in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 1926 from Germantown High School.

She graduated summa cum laude from from Swarthmore College in 1930 and earned a master's degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1963.

She had been a champion swimmer and diver and had sailed extensively throughout the Chesapeake Bay. She also had taken more than 20 freighter trips to the Mediterranean, where she studied Greek, Roman and Biblical ruins.

She was a member of the First Church of Christ Scientist in Essex, the Biblical Archaeology Society and the Baltimore Opera Guild.

She married Philip R. Stoer in 1935; he died in 1978.

No services will be held. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

She is survived by two sons, Nicholas S. Stoer of Rockville and Eric F. Stoer of Annapolis; and five grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Inc., 162 Prince George St., Annapolis 21401.

Pub Date: 6/11/98

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