Kathryn C. Marr, a retired human resources director who enjoyed traveling, died Nov. 21 at Gilchrist Center Towson from myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder. The Roland Springs resident was 78.
The former Kathryn Crowley was the daughter of John Anthony Crowley, a regional vice president for the Sunshine Biscuit Co., and Agnes Ryan Crowley, an elementary school teacher. She was born in Lawrence, Mass., and raised in Warwick, R.I.
A graduate of St. Xavier High School in Providence, she received a bachelor’s degree in 1962 in education from Rhode Island College.
After leaving college, Mrs. Marr taught high school English and social studies in Rhode Island. She married Michael E. Marr, an attorney, and the couple moved to Montgomery County, where she resumed her teaching career in county public schools. From 1967 to 1971, the couple lived in Riverside, Calif., then moved to Homeland, where Mrs. Marr joined the faculty of Friends School. There, she taught reading and math until the birth of her third child in 1975.
Mrs. Marr was an active member of the Junior League of Baltimore, which worked to establish the National Aquarium in Baltimore. She helped recruit volunteers and oversaw committees working on this project. It was this experience that led Mrs. Marr to consider a career in human resources, and she entered a human resources graduate certification program at Goucher College, graduating in 1980.
In 1980 she established the human resources department and directed its operation at Electronic Instruments Laboratory in Sparks, and for satellite locations across the U.S. and Canada. An advocate for individuals with disabilities and for fair hiring practices, she was named to the President’s Commission for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities, serving as EIL’s company representative.
After EIL was sold in 1996, she embarked on a 14-year career in state government, serving as director of human resources for the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Juvenile Services. She retired in 2011.
Mrs. Marr was known for a Christmas Eve party she started more than 40 years ago for family, friends and neighbors. It wasn’t uncommon for 80 guests to arrive for the evening of holiday merriment.
Mrs. Marr formally lived in Homeland and had moved to Roland Springs. A world traveler, she enjoyed annual trips to New England and Ocean City. She also was a gardener and a member of the Cliff Dwellers Garden Club.
She was preceded in death by a son, Eric David Marr, who died in 2006, and by a longtime companion Gerard Callanan.
A funeral Mass was offered Friday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 101 Church Lane, Cockeysville.
Mrs. Marr is survived by a son, Michael E. Marr Jr. of Wexford, Pa.; a daughter, Emily Marr Johnson of Arcadia; and a grandson. Her marriage ended in divorce.
— Frederick N. Rasmussen
NOTE: An earlier version of this article misstated Mrs. Marr’s age. It has been corrected here. The Sun regrets the error.