Nancy P. Wel­bourn

For­mer Gar­ri­son For­est School in­struc­tor had been an ac­tive mem­ber of her Owings Mills church for 72 years

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Fred­er­ick N. Ras­mussen fras­mussen@balt­sun.com

Nancy P. Wel­bourn, a for­mer Gar­ri­son For­est School ed­u­ca­tor who was ac­tive at St. Thomas Epis­co­pal Church, died Sept. 11 of con­ges­tive heart fail­ure at Blake­hurst Re­tire­ment Com­mu­nity in Tow­son. She was 92. “Nancy was amaz­ing and just a won­der­ful, won­der­ful per­son,” said the Rev. Mal­colm El­lis, rec­tor at St. Thomas. “She had an in­ter­est­ing per­son­al­ity, an agile mind and was al­ways full of mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tion.”

The daugh­ter of Rae­burn H. Parker, trea­surer of Air Corp. Co., and Alice Lawrence Parker, who was a sec­ond cousin of Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill, Nancy Parker was born in New York City and raised in Tuxedo Park, N.Y.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the Mary C. Wheeler School in Prov­i­dence, R.I., she at­tended Bri­ar­cliff Ju­nior Col­lege in Bri­ar­cliff, N.Y., and grad­u­ated in 1944 with an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree.

“Dur­ing her sum­mers, she would don her cow­boy boots and blue jeans — some­thing proper New York women just didn’t do in those days — and take a train to Steam­boat Springs, Colo., to teach rid­ing and drama at the Perry-Mans­field Camp,” her son, Ed­ward H. Wel­bourn III of Owings Mills, wrote in a bi­o­graph­i­cal pro­file of his mother.

Mrs. Wel­bourn moved to Bal­ti­more in 1944 and joined the faculty of Gar­ri­son For­est, where she taught rid­ing, tu­tored Latin stu­dents and di­rected plays.

She left the Owings Mills school in 1950 when she mar­ried E. Ham­ble­ton “Ham” Wel­bourn Jr., a Con­necti­cut Gen­eral In­surance Co. ex­ec­u­tive, and set­tled in a home not far from the school.

Mrs. Wel­bourn joined St. Thomas Epis­co­pal Church in 1944 at a time when “women were not en­cour­aged to take on lead­er­ship roles within the church,” her son wrote. “She shared her life­long spir­i­tual pas­sion to serve oth­ers within the church with­out be­ing of­fi­cially or­dained.”

From 1975 to 1980, she worked at the Epis­co­pal Church of the Mes­siah on Har­ford Road in Hamil­ton, where she was as­sis­tant to the rec­tor and helped plan ser­vices, man­age his cal­en­dar and di­rect the Sun­day school pro­gram. She also worked with the church out­reach com­mit­tee

Ad­di­tion­ally, she was a con­sul­tant to the Epis­co­pal Dio­cese of Mary­land, help­ing churches that were be­tween min­is­ters cre­ate par­ish pro­files to help match parishes to avail­able min­is­te­rial can­di­dates.

Mrs. Wel­bourn was in­stru­men­tal in guid­ing and men­tor­ing sev­eral women friends into the Epis­co­pal min­istry.

She also served on the St. Thomas vestry, sang in the church choir and taught Sun­day school.

“Be­ing in­volved in ed­u­ca­tion and adult ed­u­ca­tion at the church were ma­jor is­sues for her,” Dr. El­lis said.

“Plus, she knew ev­ery­body in the church,” he said. “If I needed to know some­thing about a per­son, I just went to Nancy. She was an ab­so­lute joy to be with.”

Paul B. Corbin of Owings Mills was the for­mer head of the vestry and said he had known Mrs. Wel­bourn for more than 30 years.

“She was de­voted to St. Thomas, and she re­ally cared about peo­ple.” Mr. Corbin said. “She was out­go­ing, wel­com­ing to out­siders, and she helped bring new peo­ple into the church.”

Mrs. Wel­bourn was such a fix­ture at the church that she sat in the same pew ev­ery Sun­day, Mr. Corbin said.

He said he had been the re­cip­i­ent of her kind­ness and thought­ful­ness when he had both knees re­placed three years ago and was re­cu­per­at­ing from the surgery.

“She wrote me a lengthy get-well note — and did it twice. That’s the kind of per­son she was,” he said.

“Nancy was a kind and car­ing per­son, and she had a kind and gen­er­ous spirit. She cared about ev­ery­body,” said Bar­bara J. Parks, an Owings Mills res­i­dent and par­ish ad­min­is­tra­tor.

Ms. Parks said that even af­ter Mrs. Wel­bourn moved to the re­tire­ment com­mu­nity, “she kept in touch by email and of­ten wrote, ‘I wish I could be there.’ ”

In ad­di­tion to rais­ing her three chil­dren, she raised three other teenagers who came to live with her fam­ily, her son said.

She en­joyed rais­ing veg­eta­bles and flow­ers at Rab­bit Hill, her home.

Mrs. Wel­bourn had lived at Blake­hurst since 2000. She was a mem­ber of the Green Spring Val­ley Hunt Club and Green Spring Val­ley Gar­den Club.

She and her hus­band, who died in 2013, win­tered at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla., where she was also ac­tive in com­mu­nity af­fairs.

She served as sec­re­tary for Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity of South Florida, and also tu­tored mid­dle-school stu­dents at Key Largo School. That school pre­sented her with its Vol­un­teer Teacher Award in 2005.

“Nancy was a real sweet­heart right to the end,” Ms. Parks said.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice will be held at her church, 232 St. Thomas Lane, at 11 a.m. Wed­nes­day.

In ad­di­tion to her son, she is sur­vived by two daugh­ters, Lucy W. John­son of Char­lottesville, Va., and Nancy W. Edds of Fargo, N.D.; eight grand­chil­dren; and nine great­grand­chil­dren. Nancy P. Wel­bourn served as a con­sul­tant to the Epis­co­pal Dio­cese of Mary­land.

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