Claire M. Gilbert, who spent 19 years as a social worker at Springfield State Hospital in Sykesville, Md., until retiring in 2009, died Nov. 6 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. She was 75.

The cause was renal failure and multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow, said her nephew, Carl R. Frank.

Dr. Gilbert taught French at the University of Maryland before switching to a career in social work. She was employed by the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, Md., from 1980 to 1991.

Claire Marna Plunguian was born in Dayton, Ohio. From 1956 to 1958, she studied in Grenoble, France, on a Fulbright fellowship.

She received a bachelor’s degree in French and mathematics from Rice University in Houston in 1960 and a master’s degree in French from the University of Delaware in 1964. She received a doctoral degree in French language and literature from Johns Hopkins University in 1969.

In 1979, she received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland.

She was married to Daniel Gilbert for 36 years until his death in 2000. Their son, Raymond, died in 2003.

Survivors include a sister.

— Samantha Raphelson