Fay Rellas, a retired Baltimore City College business teacher, died of respiratory failure Monday at Greenfields Senior Living in Cockeysville. She was 91 and lived in Phoenix in Baltimore County.
Born in Campbell, Ohio, she was the daughter of Aristotle Mastorides, a jewelry store owner, and his wife, Georgia. Mrs. Rellas was raised by her stepmother, Frances Mastorides, with whom she had a close relationship, after her birth mother died.
Her parents were immigrants from Greece, and Greek was the primary language at the family home.
Her son, Peter J. Rellas, said his mother learned English as a child and her father taught her how to play tennis and swim. She spoke both languages fluently.
She was a 1946 graduate of Campbell High School and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was also a member of the Red & Black Girls Reserve, the Scholarship Club and the school council. She was active in dramatics and the school orchestra. She played the piano throughout her life.
She earned an education degree at Ohio State University, where she was a member of the tennis team. She later received a master’s degree at what is now Loyola University Maryland.
In 1950, while attending a wedding in Washington D.C., she met her future husband, John P. Rellas, an attorney who would later be named a Maryland District Court judge.
“My father fell for her at the wedding and he began visiting her by bus. When he didn’t have the fare, he hitchhiked. He never forgot that experience,” said her son, Peter.
“I’ve known Judge Rellas and Fay for a long time,” said the Rev. Constantine Moralis, dean of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. “She was a faithful member of our community and in later years participated in our senior center. She enjoyed keeping up with lifetime friends and taking part in that community. She was very devoted to her son as well.”
The couple moved to Baltimore and Mrs. Rellas joined the faculty of Eastern High School. She taught typing and bookkeeping and was also named the school’s treasurer, a post she would hold in other places where she worked and volunteered.
Mrs. Rellas later taught business subjects at Baltimore City College and at the old Northern High School, where she was the girls tennis coach.
While at Northern, she was honored with a certificate of appreciation from the Future Business Leaders of America.
She continued to play piano and also strummed the ukulele. She particularly liked to accompany singalongs in the sand dunes before a bonfire at Ocean City.
“When things got a little testy at home with my father and us boys, my mother would go to the piano and music would fill the whole house. It was a sign to take a break, sit down and relax. It worked, too, and made us tranquil. The boys were soon sleeping,” said her son.
Mrs. Rellas was an accomplished golfer who hit a hole-in-one while she was in her 70s.
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“She was playing at the Royal Wood Club in Naples, Florida, on a par-3 hole. The green was 125 yards away and she used a driver and hit into the sun. Her golf party walked to the green and looked for her ball. They didn’t look into the cup at first. When they found it, she discovered she had to buy ... a round of drinks for everyone at the club that day,” her son said.