Martha H. Dance, Perry Hall vol­un­teer

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - — Fred­er­ick N. Ras­mussen

Martha H. Dance, who worked for The Arc of Bal­ti­more and was a long­time vol­un­teer and movie buff, died Thurs­day of com­pli­ca­tions from Alzheimer’s dis­ease at her Perry Hall home.

The former Mays Chapel res­i­dent was 61.

The daugh­ter of Shear­man S. Dance, a car­pen­ter and farmer, and He­len Brown Dance, a reg­is­tered nurse, Martha He­len Dance was born in Eas­ton and raised on Nor­man Av­enue in Lutherville.

“When Martha was born with Down syn­drome, they told her par­ents not to take her home but put her in an in­sti­tu­tion, but she learned to read and write,” said Sandy Dance, a sis­ter-in-law who lives in Chase.

Ms. Dance grad­u­ated in 1976 from the Ridge Rux­ton School, and went to work for Block­buster in Ti­mo­nium.

“She was a movie buff and loved the films of Leonard DeCaprio and the ‘Ti­tanic’ era,” her sis­ter-in-law said. “I think work­ing at Block­buster’s was her fa­vorite job.”

Ms. Dance was em­ployed at Arc’s Home­land Cen­ter in Go­vans un­til May.

For many years, she was on the board of For­ward Vi­sions, an out­reach or­ga­ni­za­tion that had been founded by her par­ents. For­ward Vi­sions helps the dis­abled lead pro­duc­tive lives and live in­de­pen­dently.

For nearly two decades, Ms. Dance had been a vol­un­teer with the Mary­land Lung As­so­ci­a­tion.

Ms. Dance was also a swim­mer and had com­peted in the Special Olympics, where she had earned 20 medals.

She en­joyed trav­el­ing and es­pe­cially sail­ing aboard ships of the Dis­ney Cruise Line.

A visit to Hol­ly­wood was a “high­light of her life,” her sis­ter-in-law said.

Ms. Dance was a mem­ber of Cen­tral Pres­by­te­rian Church, where for more than 30 years she helped in the church nurs­ery.

“Over the years she held hundreds of ba­bies. She loved car­ing for them,” said Sandy Dance.

“Martha had a dis­abil­ity — but she lived a won­der­ful, full life,” she said.

Fu­neral ser­vices will be held at 11 a.m. to­day at her church, 7803 York Road, in Tow­son.

In ad­di­tion to her sis­ter-in-law, Ms. Dance is sur­vived by four broth­ers, H. Stephens Dance of Jar­rettsville, An­der­son W. Dance of Chase, S. Scott Dance of Las Ve­gas and Thomas M. Dance of Ker­rville, Texas; and nu­mer­ous nieces and neph­ews.

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