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Veteran Educator Embraces GBMC & Yaggy Society

Veteran Educator Embraces GBMC & Yaggy Society

" In 1951, there weren't many career paths for women beyond teaching and secretarial jobs. So, I joined the Army for some adventure and excitement. " -- Emmy Lee Steigelman, Elizabeth Duncan Yaggy Society

A Baltimore County Public School teacher for 29 years, loving wife and caregiver, Emmy Lee Steigelman and her husband, Dick, cherished their many GBMC doctors.

Emmy Lee recently spoke of her late husband, Dick's, 12-hour tongue surgery in 1996. She recalled how Dr. John Saunders told her what to expect after he and Dr. Richard Hirata (USMA, 1958) surgically removed the cancer. Dr. Saunders found Emmy Lee in the family waiting area sewing to pass the time.

Emmy Lee said, "I will never forget Dr. Saunders. He came out, and he said, 'What have you been working on? Show me what you have made…'" Emmy Lee concluded, "And, I knew everything would be okay."

As a gesture of her gratitude, Emmy Lee decorated the doors of the Dance Head and Neck Center during the holidays for the next 10 years.

Earlier in her life, Emmy Lee attended high school at a New Hampshire convent. After graduating, she joined the Army as a member of the Women's Army Corps, or WACs. She was stationed at West Point where she worked as a receptionist in the campus hospital.

Although she did not know him at the time, her husband Ozro "Dick" Steigleman was a Cadet in the Class of 1954. It would take another 12 years for the couple to meet and later marry. In the years between West Point and their marriage, Emmy Lee enjoyed the cosmopolitan life in Baltimore, including a stint as an actress at Baltimore's Center Stage. She also earned her degree at Towson State Teacher's College.

When they were married, she worked as a special educator and Dick as a math teacher. They lived a happy life on a beautiful property Dick found high on a tree-covered hill in Monkton. He selected it based on his military training to "always own the high ground."

After Dick passed away in 2006 from congestive heart failure, Emmy Lee decided to secure the Steigelman family legacy at GBMC by including a generous provision in her Will. Her bequest will benefit the Milton J. Dance Head and Neck Rehabilitation Center and GBMC's general uses.

In 2019, Emmy Lee established the Emmy Lee and Dick Steigelman Cancer Research Fund. This perpetual endowment will be used to benefit The Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center at GBMC to support research and treatment of cancers of the throat and tongue.

It is through the support of loyal benefactors like Emmy Lee Steigelman that GBMC remains on the cutting edge of patient care and research.

If you would like to learn more about ways of giving back to GBMC, please contact John C. Jeppi in the GBMC Foundation Office of Principal and Planned Gifts at 443-849-3303 or jjeppi@gbmc.org .


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