Mildred “Neale” Baltz died Saturday, Oct. 6, at age 102.
Neale was born on a dairy farm in Bealeton, Va., one of nine children of Wayland Dunaway Neale and Mary Virginia James Neale, on Oct. 23, 1909.
The Neale children drove a horse-drawn wagon four miles to a one-room schoolhouse, delivering the farm’s milk at the train station on their way.
Neale earned a Normal Professional Certificate from Harrisonburg State Teachers College and began teaching school in a one-room schoolhouse in Loudoun County, Va., in 1928. Her innovative teaching resulted in a scholarship to the University of Virginia, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1932. She was a charter member of the university’s chapter of Kappa Delta sorority.
Neale was supervisor of schools in Greenville County, Va., from 1932 to 1936, responsible for 160 teachers, most in one-room schools. During the summers, she earned her master’s degree at Columbia University in New York City.
From 1936 to 1946, Neale was a reading consultant with Macmillan Publishing and traveled 32 states, instructing teachers how to use Macmillan textbooks in their reading programs.
In 1946, Neale was chosen as part of a select group of educators to go to Berlin and establish the Berlin school for the children of U.S. Army personnel during the Occupation.
While in Berlin, Neale began writing letters to an old beau — Richard “Dick” Baltz — and they rekindled their love by mail. Dick met Neale’s ship home from Europe in 1947 and they were married a week later, having not seen each other in eight years.
Hagerstown, Md., was Neale and Dick’s home since 1962.
Dick worked for Fairchild Aircraft and Neale worked for the Washington County school system.
They both were avid golfers, gardeners and readers.
Neale was a talented watercolorist, and member of the Fort Myers Beach Art Association and Valley Art Association. She was awarded honorary life membership at Fountain Head Country Club for her contributions to the junior and nine-hole golf programs.
Neale was preceded in death by her husband, Richard, in 2004; her sisters, Marguerite Moger of Lexington, Va., Jessie Jensen of Urbana, Ill., and Hazel Kononoff of Coral Gables, Fla.; and her brothers, James Claybrooke Neale of Bealeton, Alton Dunaway Neale of Purcellville, Va., and Julian Neale of Loveland, Ohio.
Neale is survived by her only child, Mary Frances Baltz Curran and husband, Kevin, of Earlham, Iowa; her brother, Harold Neale; and sister, Janice “Tootsie Pie” Kehoe of Bealeton. She also leaves a multitude of nieces and nephews behind to celebrate her full and well-lived life.
There will be a graveside ceremony at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Bealeton, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m.
Arrangements are being handled by the Moser Funeral Home, 233 Broadview Ave., Warrenton, Va., and local arrangements have been entrusted to Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown.
Mildred Baltz, 102
OCT. 23, 1909-OCT. 6, 2012
Mildred Baltz (Submitted photo / October 7, 2012)