Anne Z. Schilling, a retired Harford County public schools librarian who was also a volunteer with the Freestate Swim League, died Monday of complications from pneumonia at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. She was 84.
"I've known her since I was 6 years old, and now I am 51. Anne was somebody who was very formal, and she wanted everything done in certain way," said Suzanne Bailey Jurich, who teaches third grade at Riverside Elementary School in Joppa. "Everyone looked up to her, and she was the consummate lady."
"She shaped and influenced countless lives with a love of reading and thirst for knowledge," wrote a daughter, Victoria S. "Vickie" Mallcott of Suwanee, Ga., in a eulogy for her mother. "She loved teaching, and the library was her passion."
The daughter of Jeptha McCulloh Zimmerman, a hotel proprietor, and Hazel Rebecca Zimmerman, a laboratory assistant, Anne Fredericks Zimmerman was born and raised in Hagerstown, where she graduated in 1948 from Hagerstown High School.
She earned a bachelor's degree in 1952 from what was then Towson State Teachers College, and later returned there and earned a master's degree in education in 1966.
From 1953 to 1955, she taught American children in Saudi Arabia whose parents were employed by the Aramco Oil Co.
She returned to Maryland in 1956 and began teaching at Loch Raven Elementary School, where she remained for three years.
In 1957, she married Edward M. "Jack" Shilling, whom she had known since college days, and they later settled into a home in Joppa.
She left Baltimore County public schools and from 1967 to 1980 was a librarian at William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School in Abingdon. In 1981, she became librarian at Riverside Elementary School in Joppa, from which she retired in 1995.
"She had high expectations for everyone and the children. She tried to instill in them the love of reading that she had," said Ms. Jurich of Joppa. "She shared her family with them and made them feel like they were a part of her life and family."
Audrey Peterson, who was an administrative assistant at the school until retiring 18 years ago, remained a close friend.
"She was loved by all of the children and staff at Riverside, and when her supervisors came, they enjoyed her so much," said Ms. Peterson, who lives in White Marsh. "We rode to school together, and she endeared her children to me and mine to her."
Beth Glorioso Munley, currently a kindergarten teacher at Riverside Elementary, has been a member of its the faculty for 27 years.
"I worked with her at Riverside when she was our librarian. She had a certain presence about her, and everyone seemed to look up to and respected her. Everyone in the community knew her because she lived there," said Ms. Munley.
"She was not very tall and spoke very formally. The children loved to hear her stories in the library, and every Halloween she read 'The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything.' She'd get them all excited, especially when in the story someone is knocking at the door and when the person opened it, she said 'Boo!' She inspired me to read it, and now I am doing it at Halloween time for the children," said Ms. Munley.
During the 1980s, Mrs. Schilling also served on the Harford County Judicial Nominating Committee.
In addition to reading, Mrs. Schilling enjoyed antiquing, basket-making and bowling. She was an Orioles and Ravens fan.
She also loved going out shopping and for dinner, said Ms. Peterson.
Mrs. Schilling and her husband purchased a second home in the early 1970s in Lewes, Del., where they enjoyed spending summers. Since 2013, the former longtime Joppa residents had lived at Brightview Assisted Living in Towson.
Her husband of 57 years, who had been a corporate aircraft scheduler at Martin Marietta Corp., died in June.