Albert H. Naeny Jr., a retired Baltimore County public schools official and World War II veteran who enjoyed living on the Eastern Shore, died June 28 of heart failure at his home in Bozman.
The former Timonium resident was 89.
"Al Naeny was a quietly effective person. He was the type of person everyone related to and liked," said Dr. Robert Y. Dubel, who headed Baltimore County public schools for 16 years before retiring in 1992.
"He worked with me for 25 years and spent his whole 35-year career with the system," said Dr. Dubel, who lives in Glen Arm. "He was really a remarkable administrator who was a calm and deliberate influence on the staff."
The son of Albert H. Naeny Sr., assistant Baltimore postmaster, and Henrietta Naeny, a homemaker, Albert Henry Naeny Jr. was born in Baltimore and raised on 32nd Street and later Lochwood Road in Northeast Baltimore.
While a student at City College, Mr. Naeny was a member of the swim team and active in student government. After graduating in 1944, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and completed training to become an air traffic controller.
He was stationed as an air traffic controller at Army Airfield Station Furth, near Nuremberg, Germany.
After being discharged in 1946, he enrolled at what was then Towson State Teachers College, now Towson University, from which he received a bachelor's degree in 1950. In 1954, he obtained a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University and did further graduate study at Columbia University and the University of Maryland, College Park.
He began his teaching career in 1950 at Sparrows Point High School and in 1955 was appointed assistant principal at Golden Ring Junior High School.
In 1952, he and Margaret Louise Stauffer, also a Baltimore County public schools educator, were married.
During Mr. Naeny's career, he had the distinction of opening three new schools. In 1956, when Dumbarton Junior High School opened, he served as its first principal. He took on the same role four years later when Ridgely Junior High School opened its doors.
His last "new" school was serving as Dulaney High School's principal from 1964 to 1968, when he was named director of the county school's Northwest Area.
"Mr. Naeny was with us at Ridgely and then at Dulaney where we were the first class that graduated in 1965," said Judy Scheper, a Glen Arm resident who later was principal at Dulaney from 1989 to 1991. "He attended all of our reunions until this year because of health issues."
Ms. Scheper described him as the "consummate administrator."
"He followed all the rules and policies of the Board of Education but he enhanced them with his own code. He had a conduct and dress code and tolerated no disruption to the instructional program," she said.
"Mr. Naeny earned the respect of the entire staff and students. He had strong convictions and expectations which in turn made the school strong," she said.
Ms. Scheper said he made it his business to know all of the students' names and their families.
"He spent lots of time making sure he knew everyone, and he cared whether you were going out to work in business or onto college," said Ms. Scheper. "Whether you were a custodian, cafeteria lady or teacher, he expected everyone to treat each other with respect."
Mr. Naeny was promoted in 1976 to assistant superintendent of the central area, and for the last two years of his career was associate superintendent of administration. He retired in 1985.
"When we started a new program for students who were using drugs and alcohol, he played a big role in it," recalled Dr. Dubel.
"We had a strong disciplinary anti-drug and alcohol code that relied on education and counseling," he said. "He was a strong advocate for the code, but he was compassionate toward the students who had to leave their regular schools and attend night school, where they received special counseling."
"If they succeeded, we were able to readmit them to the regular program," said Dr. Dubel. "Al believed in helping, not punishing, them."
"He believed that youngsters deserved a second chance," said Ms. Scheper.
Mr. Naeny's love affair with the Eastern Shore began in his early years when he visited relatives.
In 1966, he and his wife purchased property in Bozman and, four years later, built a retirement cottage. After retiring, Mr. Naeny built an addition on the cottage and settled there permanently.
For more than three decades, he remained active in the community. He served as president of the board of the Easton Day Care Center and was a member of the Talbot Hospice Foundation.
He also had been chairman of the Talbot County Public Schools Ethics Panel and a member of the McQueen-Gibbs-Willis Nursing Advisory Committee, and had served on the boards of Common Cause Maryland and the Academy of Lifelong Learning.
He was a communicant and had served on the vestry of Christ Episcopal Church in St. Michaels.
Reflecting on his life, Mr. Naeny wrote: "During the years, both as an educator and volunteer, I have had the privilege to serve the community with many caring and giving people who have enriched my life."
Services are private.
In addition to his wife of 64 years, he is survived by a daughter, Joan Naeny of St. Michaels; and two grandchildren.