IRVINGTON—Katherine Ryland Williams, retired math teacher at Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills, Md., died April 18 at her home in Irvington at the age of 94.
Teensa, as she is better known, spent her early childhood in High Point, N.C., but moved to Baltimore with her parents where she graduated from the Bryn Mawr School in 1945. After attending Vassar College, she married Frederick W. Brune Jr. in 1947. She taught math at Garrison Forest School for 20 years, serving as head of the middle school for six years and head of the math department for her last three years. She loved math and wanted to share that passion with young women in order for them to excel in a predominantly male-oriented subject.
She cared deeply for her students not only in the classroom but also in their lives. In order to make geometry more relevant, she took students to a tennis court to formulate right angles and precise measurements. With her amazing needlepoint creations, she demonstrated math at work as well. She received her B.A. from Roger Williams University in 1973.
In 1972, she married Dr. Lee Williams, a Baltimore surgeon. They subsequently retired to Irvington. She was an avid tennis player for many years, competing at the Elkridge Club, but she later switched to golf where she made at least two holes-in-one and won many tournaments. In her 94th year, she held out hope that she, her brother Paul, and her daughter would play tennis together at Indian Wells.
Since retirement, Teensa has been trustee emerita of the Garrison Forest School. She was also a member of the women’s committee of the Walters Art Museum and served as its chair for two years. She also served on the board of the Mount Vernon Club. After moving to Irvington, she was a board member of the Chesapeake Academy and the foundation board of Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury.
She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Lee Williams. Also surviving are her two children from her first marriage, Katherine Brune Kimball of West Lebanon, N.H., and Frederick William Brune of Bellingham, Wash.; a brother, Paul Ten Hoopen of Naples, Fla.; a sister, Joan Harris, of Cashiers, N.C.; four stepchildren, Jenny Robinson, Lynden, Wash., David Williams, Carlisle, Pa., Frances Butler of Centennial, Colo., and Philip Williams of Irvington; and many grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her brother, William H. Ryland; a stepson, Dr. Howard Williams; and a grandson, Timothy Kimball.
The family is grateful to the many devoted aides who took exceptional care of her for the last five years.
Plans for a celebration-of-life gathering to be held at Historic Christ Church are incomplete at this time because of the pandemic.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Garrison Forest School, Owings Mills, Md., or The Steamboat Era Museum, Irvington.
Currie Funeral Home LLC of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements.