Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five

Judy Little, 55, counselor at Walbrook High School


Judy W. Little, a popular Walbrook High School counselor who friends said treated students "like her own children," died Thursday in a car accident in the driveway of her Randallstown home.

For the past three years, Mrs. Little, 55, was the academic counselor at the West Baltimore school. Friends, colleagues and students said she mostly offered students friendship.

Lydia Haynes, whose niece attends Walbrook, said talking to Mrs. Little almost daily was one of the highlights for her niece.

"She [her niece] seemed to have an immediate connection with Mrs. Little. She could tell her things that she might have felt uncomfortable telling me about," Ms. Haynes said. "They didn't always talk about school problems, just things."

Mrs. Little was killed late Thursday when her car, parked on a steep incline outside her home, began to roll moments after she got out.

Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman, said she apparently tried to get in the car to stop it, but slipped and was pinned beneath the vehicle when it overturned down an embankment.

She was declared dead at the scene, and the accident is under investigation, Mr. Toohey said.

A native of Pitt County, N.C., the former Judy Wilkins graduated from Elizabeth City State University in her home state in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. She later earned two master's degrees: one in counseling and guidance from Coppin State College, the other in criminal justice from Loyola College.

Mrs. Little moved to Maryland in the early 1970s and taught physical education at several schools, including Northwestern High, before joining Walbrook High for the 1994-1995 school year.

"She always had that wild and crazy smile," said Linda McFadden, who worked in the school's counselor's office with Mrs. Little. "She always had you laughing and made people feel a lot better."

The school was closed yesterday and Friday and many students were unaware of her death. Administrators who have been meeting at the school "are still kind of shaking," Ms. McFadden said.

Mrs. Little often mixed her academic duties and love of children, and invited students to accompany her each summer when she visited relatives in North Carolina.

"She just loved them," said her niece, Dametia Shorter of Cheverly. "She didn't have any children of her own, and she treated them like they were her own kids."

In the mid-1980s, Mrs. Little joined the Columbia chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and was active with the group's scholarship program and community activities.

Services are scheduled for 6 p.m. today at Epworth United Methodist Church, St. Lukes Lane and Liberty Road in Randallstown.

Mrs. Little was divorced. She is survived by a sister, Velma W. Farmer of Pitt County, N.C.; and many nieces and nephews.

Pub Date: 2/02/99

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