Sadder than the news of Miss Randolph's passing was my
thought that so often since my graduation from Hood in 1973, I have thought of
her, wondered if she were still with us, and wished I could let her know how
much she meant to me. Now it's too late, but I can let you know.
How often through the years have I heard her voice!
I loved her Etchings class, having her as my student
teaching advisor, but even more, I felt as if she was my friend. She came to
see me in a Hood Theater production, came to my wedding, invited my boyfriend
inside when he stood outside the window of Tatum once during class.
Each time she bestowed upon me that smile and that giggle.
From what I've read about her on her memorial page, it seems she never lost
those. Just the day before I found out that she had passed away, I came across
an etching she had given me as a wedding gift.
Not only will I never forget Miss Randolph, many times
though the years I have wanted to BE Miss Randolph.
She was loved by so many.
Martha Kazenwadel Schlott, class of 1973
For many years, it has been a great privilege to have known
Mary Ellen Randolph. Working with her on many projects where her knowledge of
art and art history benefited local students from the Gifted and Talented
Program in Frederick County, I know that she could always be counted on for her
generous sharing of her valuable time and talents.
Her exemplary life
has touched so many of us in the Arts community. She always exuded such
enthusiasm, and never stopped observing the beauty of nature in all its
wonderful forms of abstraction and realism.
Wherever her Spirit now
resides, she will live on in our hearts, and she now shares a place in the
realm of the dear lost artists who have gone before.
Prongas, MFA. AE.
There are fond memories of Mary Ellen as the artist and the
photographer. It has been a pleasure knowing her.
Mary Ellen attended the opening of my recent show at
Carroll Community College - being the supportive friend that she was to so
many. I have been wearing the hats of artist, art educator and studio art
instructor and at that show I told Mary Ellen that I was in training to be her!
(She played all of those parts so beautifully.) She laughed and patted me on
the head! I can only begin to imagine how many in the "Frederick Art Scene"
have broken hearts this week.
Mary Ellen was loved by generations of Hood art students;
she devoted her life to them, and they returned her devotion. She will be very
Anne Derbes, Ph.D., Professor of Art, Hood
We are very saddened by the loss of Mary Ellen. She
was more than a teacher, a friend, she was part of our family.
Ellen was the person who cared so much as to work with me after my coma. It was
Mary Ellen's devotion and love that helped me return to the Art Community after
my devastating illness. She has worked with me ever since, sharing her talents
and giving support. She has been a teacher, a mentor and a friend. She became
part of our family, attending weddings and family gatherings. We have so many
wonderful memories and cannot imagine life without Mary Ellen.
Christine Conko and Family
A week ago one of the BRIGHTEST LIGHTS in Frederick
left us behind. What Mary Ellen left us is what we all have to live up to.
There will never be enough words to express what we all feel for having
known her. She touched so many. We shared a common bond in education in the
Arts. Need I say more? She served on the Board of Directors at the Delaplaine
Visual Arts Center and it was my pleasure to make sure she had a ride to and
I think that what I will remember most about “Miss
Randolph”, as her students still refer to her, is her enthusiasm at the
Student Shows. She thought of each child as a Grandchild that exhibited in that
particular Student show because she had a hand in shaping their teacher. I will
always remember her saying. “These are my grandchildren." WHAT A
LEGACY left by most of the teachers I know who are retiring or have retired
that had a hand in passing on the touch!.
What an honor to have to have
been part of her life.
I met Mary Ellen when I was a young teenager about 15
years ago when she was helping my sister with art. She was always so kind and
thoughtful and through the years has become a surrogate grandmother to me. She
always remembered that I collected elephants and almost every Christmas my gift
was an elephant of some sort.
She was such a cool lady, but she never
seemed like an old lady. I would always tease her that she was only 29 years
old. I was always fascinated by the traveling she had done and the interesting
places she had been. I will always be happy that she met Alex my baby son just
a few weeks ago and that I can tell him about the great woman that held him and
played with him.
I will miss her dearly and will always look fondly on
the memories I have of her.
I first met Mary Ellen Randolph as an art education major
attending Hood College. As a student in her Graphic Arts class I had the
opportunity to get to know Mary Ellen, the art educator, and Mary Ellen, the
artist. I was a continuing education student at the time, and the mother of two
young children. Mary Ellen adored children of all ages. She relished life and
was so sensitive to the beauty and the aesthetics of her environment. I
remember once discussing textures with her that led back to a childhood memory
of the oil cloth covering on her mother's kitchen table. She said she was
always offended by the ugliness of it. She appreciated the delicate, the
fragile, the subtle beauties of life, which often went unobserved by the rest
of us poor victims of a "mad dash" life-style. In her quiet enthusiastic way,
she helped to teach us, the next generation of art educators, to "see" and to
nurture and to pass this gift on to the students in our classrooms.
an art teacher in Frederick County High Schools for 17 years, I enjoyed Mary
Ellen's support and pride in the accomplishments of her students as I did in my
own. She would hug me at student shows at the Delaplaine where my art students
would be recognized for their achievements, and we would laugh and wink at the
joy of passing on the legacy of creating art and expressing the wonder we "see"
in the world around us. Some of the Frederick art community may remember that
the young Miss Randolph had the privilege of studying with the famed American
sculptor, David Smith. The gift of making art passes through the generations
like a stone thrown into a pond, creating ripples that expand out further and
further, the effects of which can never be quantified. Mary Ellen Randolph,
your spirit lives on in the legacy you have left, in the pattern of gently
waving ferns, the gurgle of a stream, the glory of a field of
I wanted to express my sorrow to hear about Mary Ellen. Mary
Ellen volunteered to model for my portrait class years ago. Normally I didn't
paint along with the class, but this time I joined them in painting a portrait
sketch of her. We enjoyed her so much. It's funny, I can still hear her voice.
I will remember her as being a positive and interested and vital person. When I
found out that she didn't have a car and walked literally everywhere I was very
I was very saddened to hear about the death of Ms. Randolph.
I graduated in 1981 and I took her Art History class while I was attending
Hood. I found her to be a delightful teacher and I loved the class. I still to
this day refer to the textbooks that she assigned for us to read. She had so
many funny stories and antidotes about the artists. It was through her gift of
teaching that I found such an appreciation for the artists and the wonderful
masterpieces that they created. She was truly an inspiration.
I send my
sympathies to her family and her friends. I know that she will be missed.
Karen Srsic Carlson '81
When I think about my education at Hood College, certainly
the classes that made a difference for me were Ms. Randolph's art appreciation
classes. She opened my eyes to art.
Georgette Levis '65
My favorite class my freshman year was a hands-on art theory
class taught by Mary Ellen Randolph. I have fond memories of her and her class,
even though I was not an art major. She inspired me to try batik as my class
project. It was a disaster, but Mary Ellen Randolph turned it around into a
learning experience. Later in life I tried oil painting. It must be the legacy
from Mary Ellen Randolph.
Betsy Houghton Fulmer
I was a Junior at Hood in 1960 when Mary Ellen Randolph
arrived. I remember her now as I experienced her presence then -- gentle yet
dignified, friendly to all, including those, like me, who never had a course
with her. In those days before the feminist movement of the later 1960s, she
modeled a graceful way to be in the world as a career woman. I'll always be
grateful for her presence.
Rev. Sara ("Sally") Zimmerman, Class
I was so sad to realize that Miss Randolph is gone and I
never told her how special she was--she was so much a part of my time at
Hood--art history, yearbook, student teaching, methods course--always with a
smile and sometimes with that devilish giggle. Every spring as I begin to teach
batik, I remember learning it in her class. When I began student teaching she
was concerned that I would not be forceful enough to discipline, and she showed
her delight when she found out I could handle it.
Thank you, Miss
Joan Leslie Wadsworth '72
I am very sad to learn of Miss Randolph's death. I was not
an art major at Hood. In fact, I took art history just to fulfill one of the
graduation requirements. Much to my surprise, I loved the class and,
especially, her. I never developed any artistic talent, but because of Miss
Randolph, I learned to appreciate art. To this day, I enjoy museum exhibits in
New York City and New Jersey and am a member of the Newark Museum. Just this
past summer, when my daughter also took an art history course to fulfill a
college requirement, I shared fond memories of my art history class and Miss
Randolph. My daughter shares my love of art and has scheduled another art class
for the spring semester. In addition, during a planned vacation to Fort
Lauderdale in January 2006, one of my family's main goals is to see the
Tutankhamun exhibit; my husband and I enjoyed the earlier exhibit 26 years ago
in New York.
Miss Randolph greatly influenced me after only one
introductory course over thirty years ago. I can only imagine the influence she
had on her art majors. She was an inspiring teacher and an asset to Hood. I
offer condolences to her family and friends.
Infuso Class of 1970
This is a ceramic tile 14" by 22" piece that Mary
Ellen made. It is one of a set of 4 made by a 2003 Delaplaine Ceramics class
and the mural adorns a wall in Ceramics Studio.
I am saddened to learn of the passing of this dear lady. She
was a central part of my art studies at Hood College. I'll always remember her
enthusiasm and delight as she taught both the studio and history courses. I was
impressed by her giving of herself as a teacher and as a person. She was a
devoted friend to a former professor, regularly visiting her as she spent her
last days in a nursing home. Mary Ellen's interest in learning never waned
after retirement. She accompanied me to attend a conference on Alzheimers
Disease just to see what else she could learn about it's causes and treatment.
I too remember her little giggle and winks. And especially loved her
endearing stories. One was how she decided her name would be Mary Ellen and not
just Mary. Another, the time she pulled the door handle off the car!
last saw her at a chance crossing of paths. She told me she was on a day trip,
no stay at home retirement for this lady, and was pleased to inform me that she
had just turned 80!
It was always a pleasure to be with her. I trust
that she is now in the company of her dear mother and all of her other friends
whose lives she touched and are so pleased to have her with them again.
Cindy Hancock Weller, Class of 1981