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Ellen B. Williams, former Walters Art Museum secretary, dies

Ellen B. Williams was a church musician and singer.
Ellen B. Williams was a church musician and singer.

Ellen B. Williams, a former Walters Art Museum secretary and church musician, died of heart disease May 31 at the Broadmead Retirement Community in Cockeysville. The former Bolton Hill resident was 93.

Born and raised in Passaic, New Jersey, she was the daughter of John Bakelaar and Marie Sisco. She received a degree in organ studies from Westminster Choir College, where she also sang with the choir and in a travel chorus. She later played the organ for a congregation in Massachusetts where she met her future husband, Dan Dewi Williams. They married in 1949.

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She had an interest in education and was an officer in the PTA of Whitehall, Pennsylvania. As her three daughters grew up, she took courses at West Chester State College and became an elementary school teacher in Devon, Pennsylvania, and later in Clinton, New Jersey. She was also a city council member in Clinton.

She moved moved to Baltimore in 1979, where she became the Conservation Division secretary for the Walters Art Museum. She retired in 1992.

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She also received a master’s degree in the humanities from Johns Hopkins through the university’s program of continuing education. She was a regular patron of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and took courses at Goucher College and Towson University.

Ms. Williams was a member of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, where for almost two decades she sang in the choir and participated in a number of community service projects, including tutoring children.

Survivors include two daughters, Margaret Williams of Baltimore and Patricia Hurter of Winter Park, Florida; eight grandchildren; and nine-great-grandchildren. A daughter, Jane Narrigan, died in 1992. Ms. Williams’ husband of 30 years, an engineer who worked in metallurgical sales, died in 1979.

A celebration of life is being planned.

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