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1929 Dr. 2021

Dr. Benjamin Ebersole

June 12, 1929 — March 15, 2021

Dr. Benjamin “Ben” PauI Ebersole passed away on March 15, 2021 at the age of 91. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Shirley (Stump), his two brothers, Mark and Luke, and his two sisters, Esta Craighead, and Naomi Kruger. He will be lovingly remembered by his children Bradley (Gail), Eric (Tara), and Andrew (CJ) Ebersole. He also leaves behind 6 grandchildren, Lindsay, Lauren, Caroline, Rebecca, James, and Maxwell, 6 great grandchildren, Lena, Nora, Thomas, Violet, Natalie, and Grant, and numerous other friends and relatives.

Ben was raised in Hershey, PA. There his family was active in the Church of the Brethren, a sect of Pennsylvania Deutsch “plain people” that follow the tenets of peace and non-resistance. These values became a core part of him and included the belief  that all people were equal regardless of their race, religion, or culture.

After graduating from Hershey High School in 1947 as class president, Ben chose to attend Elizabethtown College, a school that shared these values, and he proudly embraced having an African-American roommate, the first Black student to study at Elizabethtown. The two men remained close friends for years after graduation.

Following Elizabethtown, he went to Penn State University for graduate school. After careful consideration, he interviewed for a teaching position with Baltimore County Schools. He was hired and found his place for the next 12 years as a history teacher at Catonsville High School, and coach of the tennis team, a sport at which he was quite accomplished. He made Catonsville his home and raised his family there.

When Ben arrived in Baltimore County he became engaged in social justice activities, and found what he needed in the Peace and Social Justice Committee at the Catonsville Presbyterian Church where he also served as an Elder and youth program leader.

Once he earned his doctorate at the University of Maryland in 1964, Ben was able to advance his career into a position at the central office, first as a coordinator and ultimately as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum for Baltimore County Public Schools. In this role Ben provided the leadership with the curriculum to ensure balance. His belief system of equality became part of his job. Just as he believed everyone should be treated the same regardless of the subject, he believed all subjects were equally important.

Throughout Ben’s career, he dealt with controversy as he championed curricular progress. His support of family and sex education, as well as drug education, was met with resistance. Undaunted, he worked hard to include these topics in the curriculum. He also worked to ensure that intercultural understanding and appreciation was an integral part of what was taught in the classroom.

He became an active member in the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), serving in a special internship program in 1965, and later as this organization’s president from 1979-80. He was proud to have attended approximately 35 consecutive ASCD annual meetings. Prior to the presidency, he also served on many groups within ASCD including the Radical Caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Women’s Caucus. He sought out these groups to take on an activist role and to learn as much as possible.

After retirement from the Baltimore County School System in 1984, Ben served as assistant superintendent of Derry Township Schools, Pennsylvania, where he was pleased to contribute to his beloved hometown, Hershey.  He always held a deep affection and love for Hershey that became a second home when he purchased the Ebersole family homestead, including the very house in which he was born. At this point in his life Ben also resumed being an instructor, teaching education courses at Columbia University, Goucher College, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Ben was always fit and active. He jogged and walked throughout his life, beginning in the 1970’s far before it became popular. This was indicative of his sense of adventure and being a trendsetter. In addition to playing tennis, he was also an enthusiastic golfer, and although he took up golf later in life, he managed to score two holes-in-one.

He was also an enthusiastic adventurer, traveling to all 50 states, six of seven continents, and twice taking his family on coast to coast driving tours, before cell phones and using only maps and wits to navigate.

But for all of the impressive accomplishments of his life, his greatest may have been being a shining example as a tremendously loving husband and father. His sense of commitment, caring and deep love for family was absolute. And by modeling, he instilled values of integrity, inclusion, and insight into the true capacity of nurturing others. He and Shirley gave of themselves completely to their children, for which they will be eternally grateful. There was no sacrifice too great for Ben when it came to his family and loved ones.

Ben Ebersole cared for all people with an open heart. He gave his full attention to the person with whom he was connecting -- making them feel special, valued and loved. In fact, one of the most profound tenants he lived by was “love the person in front of you.”

His zest for life, gentle kindness toward others, generosity, intellect, wit (especially with puns), heartfelt compassion, and unconditional love of family are memorable hallmarks of his personality. Those traits now live on strongly though his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He made a significant and positive contribution to this world – and it is a better place because of him. That is the living legacy of Ben Ebersole, and a life fully lived. He will be missed by so many in so many ways, and he will be remembered, revered and loved…always.


Details regarding a memorial service will be announced on this site soon.

Memorial Donations in Ben’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Benjamin Ebersole, please visit our flower store.


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