James Riley McCrumb Sr., a retired Howard County public school principal and outdoorsman, died of respiratory failure Saturday at his New Market home. He was 74.
Mr. McCrumb was born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville. He was a 1953 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington.
He earned a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry in 1958 from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master's degree in education from Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, in 1968.
He served in the Army in the early 1960s.
Mr. McCrumb taught science at Ellicott City Middle School and Howard High School before being appointed vice principal at Ellicott City Middle and then Glenelg High School.
In 1967, he was named principal of Mount Hebron High School, and remained there until retiring in 1987.
"He had a great rapport, especially with kids who felt they didn't belong. He gave them a sense of self-worth and self-confidence and enjoyed watching them blossom as human beings," said his wife of 30 years, the former Joan Clayton. "He succeeded in getting the best out of them."
He enjoyed backpacking and spending time at a cabin he owned in Wolcott, Vt.
Mr. McCrumb was a member of the Frederick County Forestry Board, Appalachian Trail Club, Green Mountain Club of Vermont and the Ruffed Grouse Society.
Plans for a memorial service were incomplete yesterday.
Also surviving are a son, James R. McCrumb Jr. of Knoxville, Frederick County; two daughters, Mariet L. Hamlet of Grifton, N.C., and Jeannine M. McCrumb of South Burlington, Vt.; and several nieces and nephews.