Bernice Howard Carver, a retired Baltimore City Schools teacher whose baseball enthusiasm earned her a seat at Earl Weaver’s dinner table, died of multiple organ failure June 22 at Hidenwood Assisted Living in Newport News, Virginia. The former Woodington Road and Ellicott City resident was 82.
Born in Orangeburg, South Carolina, she was the daughter of Walter Carver, a truck driver, and Thomasina Colter, a housekeeper. The family moved to East Baltimore when she was a youngster.
Mrs. Carver was a 1957 graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. While a student, she met her future husband, George Clenton Carver Jr.
The couple married in 1960 and raised three sons: Bryan, Bruce and Darryl. She attended the old Baltimore City Hospitals School of Nursing and became a licensed practical nurse at that institution in the Bayview section of East Baltimore.
While working full time and raising her children, Mrs. Carver continued her education and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from what is now Coppin State University. She went on to study at the Johns Hopkins University and what now is Towson University.
She joined the Baltimore City Schools system in February 1968.
“For more than three decades, my mother inspired and molded thousands of young minds,” said her son, Darryl Carver. “She picked the right profession. Her face lighted up when she walked into a classroom. She really loved kids.”
Mrs. Carver taught at James Monroe Elementary, Betsy Ross Elementary, Frederick Elementary and Lyndhurst Elementary schools until her 1998 retirement.
She also served as a shop steward for the Baltimore Teachers Union. After her retirement, Mrs. Carver went back into the classroom, mentoring new teachers.
Her son said she had a variety of personal interests, including the Israel Baptist Church and her sorority, Sigma Tau Delta. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
When her sons were students at James Mosher Elementary School, Mrs. Carver became active with the neighborhood Little Leagues in Forest Park and West Baltimore. She and her husband brought a cooler to games to serve refreshments to the team. They also brought grills for hamburgers and hot dogs.
“She became totally absorbed in baseball,” said her son Bryan.
Mrs. Carver bought season tickets to Orioles games at Memorial Stadium and became an ardent fan. Her sons recalled her presence at World Series games in 1979 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and 1983 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“She got what seats she could and may have been a bleachers bum for some of the Series games, but she was there,” Bryan said.
She made sure her sons became Junior Orioles.
Mrs. Carver embraced the game with enthusiasm and also happily penetrated new levels of Orioles fandom. At Oriole Park, she was a regular at Boog Powell’s barbecue stand.
“She eventually had fourth-row seats behind the dugout,” her son said.
Mrs. Carver brought her sons to Cooperstown, New York, for the 2003 induction of Eddie Murray and the 2007 induction of Cal Ripken Jr. into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“She got into the camaraderie of fandom and preferred to take bus trips to Cooperstown with other fans so she could share the experience more fully,” Bryan said. “She lived and breathed Orioles.”
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In 2013, she took one of her numerous Orioles-themed cruises in the Caribbean. On board was former Orioles manager Earl Weaver, whom she befriended and who often invited her and her husband to accompany him at VIP tables.
It was on that trip that Mr. Weaver suffered a fatal heart attack.
“She called me from the ship. The whole ship was distraught,” her son said.
She was also a tenpins bowler and belonged to three leagues. She was a regular at the Johnny Unitas Colt Lanes and participated in three Pro-Am Tours.
She also loved live stage shows and performances at the Hippodrome and Center Stage.
Mrs. Carver is survived by her three sons, Bryan Carver of Hampton, Virginia, Bruce Carver of Richmond, Virginia, and Darryl Carver of Atlanta; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Her husband, George Carver, a Western Electric and Lucent supervisor, died in 2019.
A funeral for Mrs. Carver is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Israel Baptist Church at 1220 N. Chester St., where she was a member.