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Norma Ray Blumberg, 81, librarian, docent

Norma Ray Blumberg, a retired librarian and branch manager for the Enoch Pratt Free Library, died of respiratory failure Friday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 81.

Born and raised Norma Ray Bennett in Cairns, Australia, she earned her bachelor's degree in 1943 in Latin and Greek from the University of Queensland. In 1944, while working for Australian Naval Intelligence in Brisbane, she met and married her husband, Stanley E. Blumberg, a U.S. Navy officer.

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The couple moved to Baltimore in 1946 and lived for many years on Ridgedale Road in Mount Washington. Mr. Blumberg, a former advertising executive who had been head of alumni relations at the Johns Hopkins University, died in 1984.

After raising her three children, Mrs. Blumberg began teaching in 1968 in city public schools. She began working for the Pratt in 1969 and later managed its Canton branch. At her 1980 retirement, she was head of the Hampden branch.

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"Mrs. Blumberg was an elegant, independent, admired and sophisticated woman whose accent charmed everyone who met her," said Wesley Wilson, chief of the state Library Resource Center at the Pratt.

A resident of Ruxton Village Apartments since 1980, Mrs. Blumberg had a second career as a museum docent. She volunteered at the Walters Art Museum, Evergreen House and Homewood House, and was a former president of the Walters' Docents Executive Committee.

"She loved sharing the museum's riches with everybody. She was very well-educated and had a particular love of the classical art of the Greek and Roman period," said John Shields, director of volunteer services at the Walters.

Her interests included such diverse subjects as archaeology, lacrosse and classical music, family members said. She also enjoyed reading mysteries.

She was a member of the Hopkins Women's Book Club, Johns Hopkins Club and Women's Hamilton Street Club.

A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. July 14 at St. David's Episcopal Church, 4700 Roland Ave.

Surviving are her two sons, Andrew S. Blumberg of Rodgers Forge and David R. Blumberg of Roland Park; a daughter, Helen E. Blumberg of Lutherville; and three grandchildren.


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