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Karla J. Capece, retired Baltimore County educator and former Hampstead resident, dies

Karla J. Capece taught first grade for 40 years at Owings Mills Elementary School, from which she retired in 2015.
Karla J. Capece taught first grade for 40 years at Owings Mills Elementary School, from which she retired in 2015.

Karla J. Capece, a retired Baltimore County public school educator who taught at Owings Mills Elementary School for four decades, died June 16 from a brain bleed at the Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The former longtime Hampstead resident was 67.

The former Karla Jean McCabe, daughter of Josephine Francis Piecentini McCabe, was born in Baltimore and raised in the Chestnut Ridge neighborhood of Owings Mills.

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She was a 1970 graduate of Franklin High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in early education in 1974 from what is now Towson University and a master’s degree in education in 1979 from the Johns Hopkins University. While in high school, she played field hockey, basketball and softball, and continued playing field hockey while a student at Towson.

Ms. Capece taught first grade for 40 years at Owings Mills Elementary School, from which she retired in 2015.

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“The many generations of students meant the world to Karla and she was a favorite teacher to many,” wrote a sister, Dr. Fran McCabe of Pikesville in a biographical profile of Ms. Capece. “Karla was a very dedicated teacher and spent countless hours making sure that her students had everything they needed to be successful.”

In addition to her classroom work, she was a first grade team leader and worked with many student teachers, coaching, supporting and preparing them for their careers as early education teachers.

Ms. Capece, who moved to Carolina Shores, North Carolina, last year, had been an active member and alumna of the Baltimore County 4-H program, Job’s Daughters and Grace United Methodist Church, and later Carroll United Methodist Church.

She was a member of her Hampstead neighborhood Craft Club and was also a member of the Westminster Craft and Social Club. She was known by family and friends for her finely handwoven baskets.

Ms. Capece enjoyed attending her children’s athletic events throughout their childhood, high school and college years, and entertaining family and friends at their former Hampstead home, which they dubbed “Capece Beach,” because it had a pool and cabana.

A celebration of life will be held outside from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 12, rain or shine, at Hampstead American Legion Post 200, 4600 Legion Lane, Hampstead, and because of the pandemic, masks and social distancing will be required.

In addition to her sister, Ms. Capece is survived by her husband of 44 years, Terry Capece, an HSBC payment processor; two sons, Adam “AJ” Capece of Abingdon and Matthew Capece of Wantagh, New York; a daughter, Lauren Capece of Walkersville; another sister, Sharon McCabe Welsch of Bel Air; six grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

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