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Obituaries

Marion E. ‘Elain’ House, a longtime Lansdowne High School physical education instructor and coach, dies

Marion E. “Elain” House, whose career as a physical education instructor and award-winning coach at Lansdowne High School spanned more than three decades, died from bladder cancer Thursday at her Linthicum home. She was 76.

“Elain was loved by everyone. She was kind and really cared about the kids,” said Sarajane V. Quinn, who taught and worked with Ms. House at Lansdowne High School for 18 years. “She lived in the neighborhood, knew the kids and was totally devoted to Lansdowne High School for more than 30 years. She was one of the best skills teachers I’ve ever known.”

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Sherry L. Moore, a professor and assistant director of experiential education at Notre Dame of Maryland, was a member of the Class of 1988 at Lansdowne.

“I was also her student and teaching assistant my senior year, which was one of the highlights of my life at Lansdowne,” said Ms. Moore. “She impacted my life and taught me how to mentor and be an advocate for students. She was just an incredible person, and I will always be grateful for what she taught me.”

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Marion Elain House — she always used her middle name — was the daughter of Cecil E. House, a telephone company lineman, and Marjorie O. House, an accountant and homemaker, was born in Lawrenceville, Virginia, and moved in the early 1950s with her family to Severna Park.

Ms. House was a 1964 graduate of Severna Park High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1968 from what is now Frostburg State University.

“She was a beautiful athlete and, when she was playing lacrosse, was very fluid,” said Ms. Quinn, a friend of Ms. House’s for 50 years who later left Lansdowne and became coordinator for health, physical education, fine arts and dance for Baltimore County Public Schools.

Ms. House spent her entire career at Lansdowne, teaching physical education and health, as well as coaching lacrosse, basketball and golf, and urging her young charges to be the “best you can.”

“Our championships are a credit to her ability,” Ms. Quinn said. “Baltimore County Public Schools is the 25th largest in the country, and her success really says something. She was easygoing and didn’t get rattled. I was talking to a Dulaney coach the other day, (and she said) that she worried about playing against Elain because she always would come up with something.”

“Parents loved her, too,” Ms. Quinn said. “She was a warm and caring person who would listen to kids and try and help them with their problems.”

Ms. Moore said: “She always challenged herself but was modest and humble and never bragged. She was always pushing us and was most proud of what we accomplished.”

She added: “As a teacher, she was an advocate, and she was also an advocate for life in general. She was such a natural at whatever she did.”

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Ms. House worked for the Maryland State Basketball Tournament for 30 years and also taught lacrosse at Towson University. An accomplished golfer, she worked in the pro shop at Fairway Hills Golf Club in Columbia for 23 years.

Ms. Moore and Ms. House played golf together often and were both members of the Carroll Park League.

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“She also knew how to have fun,” Ms. Moore said.. “She loved birds and nature, and when we were on the course, she was always pointing out that this bird was an oriole or that one was a bluebird or this nest belonged to what type of bird.”

Ms. House’s hobbies also included building bluebird houses and gardening, family members said.

Ms. House retired from Lansdowne High School in 1999.

In addition, she was a longtime volunteer with the Maryland State Board of Elections.

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She and her partner of 25 years, Denise L. Kittle, a retired Baltimore County Public Schools paraeducator, whom she married nine years ago, were avid travelers. They especially liked visiting Alaska and Aruba and spending time at their second home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Gary L. Kaufman Funeral Home at Meadowridge Memorial Park, 7520 Washington Blvd., Elkridge.

In addition to her wife, Ms. House is survived by a half brother, Allen Flinchum of Severna Park, and a nephew.


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