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Joan S. Griffith, veteran private school educator, dies

Joan S. Griffith, a longtime St. Timothy’s School English teacher and Smith College Book Sale volunteer, died April 8 at Keswick Multi-Care Center from complications from injuries suffered in a December fall. The Roland Park resident was 79.

The former Joan Rolston Sanger was born in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., the daughter of Kent Sanger, a salesman who was in regional sales for McGraw Hill’s Business Week, and his wife, Adele Wilson Sanger, a watercolorist.

She was raised in Dover, Mass., and after attending the Winsor School in Boston, graduated in 1957 from St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson. In 1961, she received a bachelor’s degree in English from Smith College.

In 1967, she married William L. Griffith, a general contractor, who died in 2006.

The longtime Woodlawn Road resident began teaching English in 1969 at St.Timothy’s School in Stevenson, and also served during the 1980s as the school’s college counselor. She retired in 1995.

In the 1980s, she began volunteering with the Smith College Club of Baltimore, whose annual used-book sale at the Towson Armory raised money for scholarships, and later headed the sale until stepping down in 2014.

Mrs. Griffth’s interests included gardening, flower arranging and crossword puzzles. She enjoyed cooking and earned the moniker “The Soup Fairy” because of her preparation of meals for elderly friends and family members.

She was a stalwart Saturday shopper at the Waverly Farmers Market and could often be found in the Giant in Anneslie, as a volunteer, helping return castoff items back to their proper place on the shelves, family members said.

A devout Anglophile, Mrs. Griffith enjoyed bridge and listening to classical music and attending the theater.

She was a member of St. David’s Episcopal Church and the Mount Vernon Club.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. April 27 in the chapel at St. Timothy’s School, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson.

She is survived by a son, William James Leonard “Jamie” Griffith of Rodgers Forge; a daughter, Elizabeth Wilson Griffith of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; and two sisters, Aileen S. Briggs of Plymouth, Mass., and Kathleen P. Yorke of Oxford, England.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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