Gladys Jov Justice (nee Spangler), formerly Gladys Callahan-Vocci, who was called the patron saint of the Baltimore Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, was born on September 29, 1932. Gladys, renowned soprano soloist and lecturer in archaeology, was a Lifelong Baltimorean. Her singing and acting career began at age 6 and included winning the Baltimore Music Club Contest in 1959. The award was a guest soloist appearance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the first of nine such occasions. Gladys also sang with the Gettysburg Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Park Concert Band, the Municipal Concert Band, and Joe Dowling's Orchestra. She often performed concerts with her partner baritone, Frank Whitmore, throughout the Eastern seaboard. She was soloist at Christ Episcopal Church, Grace United Methodist Church, and Temple Oheb Shalom, as well as soloist at hundreds of weddings in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Aside from music, Gladys's greatest interest was archaeology, which was piqued in the third grade when her father, Henry Spangler, took her to The Walters Art Gallery to see an Egyptian exhibition. She began her study of archaeology at the Johns Hopkins Evening School from 1957-1966 under the tutelage of John H. Young, Vickers Professor of Archaeology. She continued her education at the Community College of Baltimore and Department of Continuing Education and the Baltimore Hebrew University. Gladys began teaching an Introduction to Archaeology in 1975, initially as an aide to the late Ludlow H. Baldwin. From 1977 she taught a two-year program studying the Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Her classes were attended by a coterie of devoted adult students, some of whom attended her lectures for years. Gladys's classes were noted for the breadth of art, history, and archaeological finds that were discussed, as well as for the enormous collection of slides with which Gladys illustrated every aspect of the subjects being taught. Gladys's more than 50,000 slides were amassed during the more than 86 trips that she took to the Mediterranean and Middle East.
Gladys began planning and leading trips for her students and other archaeological devotees in 1977 with a trip to Greece to see firsthand the remains of classical civilization on the mainland, Crete, Thera and Rhodes. Other trips included visits to prehistoric caves in northern Spain and southern France where Gladys received a personal laissez-passer to inspect the spectacular cave art at Lascauax; to Israel, Italy, Sicily, Egypt, Malta, Ireland, England, Tunisia, Turkey, Germany, Jordan, Sardinia, and Libya. She also escorted her students to museums throughout the Mediterranean to see such wonders as the Francoise Vase in Florence, the Parthenon Marbles in London, the Per^amum Altar in Berlin, and the sites of six of Herodotus' Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In 1995 during a trip to Jordan, Gladys and her late husband endowed the restoration and translation work on the Papyrus Petra Gladys J. and Frank J. Vocci scroll under the auspices of the American Center of Oriental Research. The scroll from the Petra Church dates to the 6th Century C.E.
Gladys was active in the Baltimore Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) since 1959, serving; as Vice-President, President, and Secretary. She served as Program Coordinator of the AIA's annual lecture series for over 35 years. She was regularly a delegate to the annual AIA Conference and has been a speaker in their lecture program. In 1992 Gladys and her late husband, Frank J. Vocci, endowed the annual John J. Callahan Memorial Lecture in memory of Gladys's first husband. In 2003 she established the annual Baldwin-Justice Award that provides a travel stipend for future field archaeologists.
Gladys married George W. Justice, Jr. on May 20, 2003. Despite her illness, they were able to travel extensively. She is survived by her husband, her stepchildren, Dr. Frank Vocci, Jr., Dr. Mark Vocci, David Vocci, and Janet Boyce, and ten grandchildren, as well as many, many friends.
January 31, 2006
By El Penski
Before I start, I should confess that Gladys and I disagreed on most matters. A number of problems between us were never resolved. She took to the grave many of my unanswered questions, but we were good friends for 42 years.
In 1964, after ten years of college, graduate school, military service, and work, I suddenly returned from Utah to my parents' home in Catonsville, Maryland due to a family crisis. My brother, a young father of two, had developed cancer, my father had gotten so upset he had a heart attack and my mother was in a sorry state. I quickly found a job in the Research Laboratories at Edgewood Arsenal. My first supervisor was John J. Callahan, Gladys's husband. John invited me to their home to dinner on numerous occasions. John and Gladys lived in a small townhouse in Baltimore where Gladys cared for her disabled mother, a large flock of canaries, and a noisy little dog.
Dr. Rudolph Macy was a frequent visitor who had no family around Baltimore and was retired. He seemed to view me as a nasty intruder. He later lived with Callahan's for a long time. As far as I recall, he was a great help to Gladys with her many activities. He had written a popular chemistry textbook titled Organic Chemistry Simplified published by Chemical Publishing Company. Also, he wrote an unpublished novel about working for the Army in Harford County around WWII and the Korean War which I gave to the Historical Society of Harford County, Inc. for preservation.
At that time, smoking was quite common, and John was a smoker. Gladys told me that her parents were in a terrible automobile accident when she was a child, and she, as a child, quickly became the caregiver and adult in the family.
Gladys and John tried to get me interested in golf, dancing, social graces, dogs, flower raising, jewelry making and foreign travel, but they failed. They felt it was necessary to fix me up with suitable blind dates, but again they failed. Their intentions were good and I appreciated their kindness. Over a period of many years, we took a dozen, or so, weekend trips together to museums, the mountains, and to the ocean. Gladys was a very popular singer at that time. I remember her singing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She was well known in the Research Laboratories as she lectured at Edgewood Arsenal and sang around the Baltimore Metropolitan area and neighboring states. In the late 1960s, they were talking about having a bigger house built on Cider Mill Road. I advised them to visit the site every day, sure enough, when the builder started the foundation, it was the mirror image of what they wanted.
As the years passed, I got married, adopted children, and traveled a lot for the Army. Once, Gladys came to our home and presented one of her lectures to my family on Jerusalem. My wife, Betty, suffered with cancer for six years and passed away in 1986. During that period, with a sick wife, declining mother and two children, I saw little of the Callahans.
Shortly after John died of cancer, Gladys called to discuss the problems of widowhood and take advantage of my experience. She had numerous problems. That was the only time, which I recall, when she seemed uncertain and did not seem to know what to do next. I told her she had done everything she could for John, and she had suffered enough. I advised her to go ahead with her life: lecture, dance, travel, smile, and remarry. I gave her some advice on finding a husband. Soon she married Frank J. Vocci, Sr.
Gladys, Frank and I had dinner together a few times, but it seemed that Frank wondered why she bothered with me when we rarely agreed on anything. After Frank died in 2001, Gladys and I spent considerable time together. During that period, I saw how much time she put into her lectures and the Baltimore Archeological Society. One of the John Hopkins University professors correctly called her the "Patron Goddess of Baltimore Archeology." She was an expert on Middle Eastern and Southern and Western Europe archeology and a great lecturer.
Once, I needed to use the resources at John Hopkins to do considerable research on the Bald Friar Petroglyphs. After encountering much opposition at entering, she got me into the library, helped me locate dozens of reports, and finally she had the distrusting Director of the Eisenhower Library helping us make copies. While looking for the right articles, she cleared the shelves of bound journals like a tornado. I suspect that the Director had never encountered such a wild burst of enthusiastic research activity.
After the Internet was invented, she came to me frequently for research. I located information, ran calculations, and found photographs for her. In addition, we attended shows, movies, lectures, watched many classic DVDs, took short trips, and had many dinners together. I recall that a number of times we visited old neighborhoods in Southeast Baltimore where she recalled childhood memories and we made similar tours of western Baltimore County and Harford County that were part of my memories.
After those pleasant few years, she got cancer and I got ALS in 2004. I went from playing tennis to using a walker or walking stick in that year. When she got cancer, she asked me what Betty, my wife, had done when she lost her hair. I advised her to have some fun with it and buy a red and blond wig.
When she told me about George W. Justice, I said that he sounds like a great guy and a perfect match for you. That turned out to be very true.
I believe that she sensed that she needed intellectual combat to develop her brain, so she used me as a sounding board. As an example of our disagreements, I felt that it was shameful that the Baltimore Archeological Society focused entirely on foreign countries and neglected Baltimore's and Marylandís archeological treasures. She felt that the more ancient history was more important. She ignored the ugly aspects of ancient civilizations and concentrated on their beauty. I told her that she gave people a distorted view of history, but she wanted to brighten her friendsí lives. I think she had a good point -- people are bombarded enough with the problems of the world.
Gladys collected people and constructed a tremendous support system for herself and others. She was an unusually courageous and resolute woman. While she rarely acknowledged or talked about her mistakes or regrets, she quickly corrected her errors and looked promptly to the future. Her focus was always about what she was doing next. She knew what she wanted and no one could stop her. For most of her life, she took the attitude of Adm. David G. Farragut on August 5, 1864, in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay -- "Dam the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead." I always enjoyed her company.
She was a great lady. In
spite of the fact that she encountered many problems and worked very hard, her
life seemed to me like a dance down the yellow brick road. She refused to have
it any other way. She was an inspiration in optimism, hard work, and scholarship to all of us.