Joseph O. Woodfolk, a longtime educator in the Baltimore County Public School System, died Sept. 4. He was 84 years old.

Born March 4, 1933, Woodfolk served in the field of education for more than 46 years.  He was a three-time Fulbright Scholar to Egypt, India, and Israel and initiated the Fulbright Alumni Association from 1973 to 1976. He was also a three-time recipient of the Harlow Fullwood Award for outstanding achievement in the community as an inspiring educator and leader.

Woodfolk was honored by the Baltimore County School System for his educational excellence, and was presented with the Pioneer Award in education. For the school system, he served as department chair, curriculum specialist, in-service director, and assistant principal. After leaving the classroom he served as a BIAS Program mentor, student activities facilitator, Safe School coordinator and Superintendent Designee for the Southwest Area.

A graduate of Morgan State University, New Mexico Highlands University and University of New Hampshire, Woodfolk participated in local, national and international workshops for cultural relations. He was initiated into the Beta Kappa Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, a National Professional Geographic Fraternity.

As a life member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., he served as chapter president, Epsilon Nu Sigma, and state director, as well as other regional offices within the fraternity.

Woodfolk was active in his community and local politics. He worked on the political campaigns of Augustus Adair, Judge William “Billy” Murphy, Congressman Parren J. Mitchell, and Congressman Elijah Cummings among many other Baltimore City and Baltimore County political candidates. He served as the historian for the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP, vice president of the Baltimore City Sickle Cell Anemia Association, facilitator for the American Heart Association and a member of the President’s Committee of Morgan State University.

An art lover and admirer, Woodfolk collected items representing the cultures and countries in which he traveled across six continents.  

He was the recipient of numerous awards for his humanitarian services and educational contributions to the community.

Woodfolk was preceded in death by his son Michael. He leaves to mourn a host of nieces, nephews, family members, and god-children, as well as former students, friends and fraternity brothers.    

Well wishes, contributions, and donations should be directed to:

Zeta Sigma Foundation, Inc.

C/O Joseph O. Woodfolk Memorial Scholarship

2863 Greenmount Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21218
Contributions to the scholarship can also be made online at; note: Joseph O. Woodfolk Memorial Scholarship.