Virginia Shriver Burns, a former educator and museum docent, dies

Virginia Shriver Burns, a resident of Cross Keys who had careers as an educator, a social service case worker and a real estate professional, died from multiple sclerosis on Sept. 1 at Stella Maris Hospice. She was 84.

The former Virginia Spencer Shriver was the daughter of George M. Shriver Jr., an executive with United States Lines shipping, and Virginia Shriver, a homemaker. She was the granddaughter of George M. Shriver, a prominent Baltimore & Ohio Railroad finance executive.

Born in Pikesville, she was raised in the family home on Old Court Road adjacent to Alsenborn, her grandfather’s farm. The farm is today the site of Beth Tfiloh Congregation.

She was known as “Ging,” and family members said she was proud of her family and heritage, particularly her Spencer genealogy.

After graduating in 1951 from Garrison Forest School, she attended Smith College in Northampton, Mass., for two years, then transferred and received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1958 from Goucher College.

In 1960, she spent a year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, and in 1973 she received a second bachelor’s degree, in education, from the Johns Hopkins University.

She began teaching French in Baltimore County public schools in 1966 at Rock Glen Elementary School, then taught at Pikesville Middle School in the 1970s. From the late 1970s until the early 1980s, she taught biology at Randallstown High School and later at Dulaney High School.

Concluding her teaching career in the 1990s as a substitute French teacher at Boys’ Latin School, she was a case worker for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. In addition to those careers, she obtained a real estate license in the 1980s and was an agent with the old Grempler Realty Inc.

She was also a volunteer docent at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Walters Art Museum. At the museum she was a guide for both the permanent collection and special exhibits.

Her interests included art, architecture, languages, cultures and religions of the world, which she pursued through extensive travels to Europe, England, France, China, Greece, South and Central America, Turkey, Greece and Egypt, family members said.

Her first husband of a year, Allan H. “Buddy” Burns, a sales executive with Ramsey Scarlett Co., died in 1990. She was married in 1999 to Richard W. “Reddy” Raleigh, an English teacher at Bear Creek Elementary School in Dundalk. He died in 2000.

Mrs. Burns was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and taught Sunday school there. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 16 at her church, 3738 Butler Road, Reisterstown.

She is survived by a brother, George M. Shriver III of Glyndon; a sister, Elizabeth Shriver Kant of Sweden; and several nieces and nephews.

—Frederick N. Rasmussen

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