Margaret F. “Marge” DiNardo, interior designer and founding member of the Loch Raven Watershed Coalition, dies – Baltimore Sun

Margaret F. “Marge” DiNardo, an interior designer and environmental activist who was a founding member of the Loch Raven Watershed Coalition, died in her sleep on April 12 at the Stella Maris. The longtime resident of Timonium lived to be 93.

The former Margaret Frances Meekins, daughter of Edward Meekins, owner of EC Meekins & Sons, a moving company, and Frances Meekins, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and grew up in East Baltimore.

In 1952 she married Dr. Hector Francis Paul DiNardo Jr., a dentist, and the couple eventually settled in the Pot Spring neighborhood of Timonium, where they raised their four boys and four girls.

“She was quite a character and she ruled with an iron fist, but nobody loves you like your mother does,” said one son, Peter Claver DiNardo of Crisfield. “She was funny as hell and had the ability to laugh at herself. Her whole life was dedicated to her children, who could do no wrong.”

When it snowed, Ms. DiNardo closed Dalewood Road, a steep hill, to vehicular traffic, but before she could legally do so, “Baltimore County insisted she become a sleigh driver, which took about 30 seconds, and then the county board of public Works provided the necessary sawhorses,” said a daughter, Mary Lou DiNardo, of Timonium and New York City.

“It seemed like it snowed a lot more back then,” her son recalls. “She cordoned off the road, put an oil lantern on the sawhorses, and all the neighborhood kids rode sleds.”

“Given her many children, she was a young inventor trying to find ways to sort clothes better, keep socks together in the washer and dryer, and was famous in our neighborhood for inventing a hairnet for our long-haired dog,” wrote Ms. DiNardo in a biographical profile of her mother.

Mrs. DiNardo was an advocate of manners.

“She was very old-fashioned and a believer in manners,” Mr. DiNardo said. “If I walked through the door before her or my sisters, she would pull my ear.”

In 1979, after her children were grown, Ms. DiNardo, who was in her 50s and worked in the registry office of what is now Notre Dame at Maryland University, earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from college.

“That was in the same year that five of her children were graduating from different schools, one medical school, two college, one high school and eighth grade,” Ms. DiNardo said.

Ms. DiNardo founded Interiors LTD in 1971, an interior design company specializing in interior design for dental and medical offices. She owned and operated the Timonium business until it closed in 1986.

Mrs. DiNardo was an activist, environmentalist, and a leader in local neighborhood activities. She was president of the Pot Spring Community Association, a group founded by her husband.

Mrs DiNardo’s house overlooked the Loch Raven watershed and when it was threatened by development and an additional golf course she took action in 1993 as a founding member of the Loch Raven Watershed Coalition which fought successfully to protect the watershed.

The Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp., a non-profit organization that manages Baltimore’s municipal public golf courses, notified Baltimore County officials in 1993 that they intended to construct 21 additional holes adjacent to the existing Pine Ridge Golf Course on the city-owned Loch Raven Reservoir property to build .

Josephine J. Owen, a member of the coalition, told The Sun that an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 trees would need to be felled for the project. “Apart from the destruction of forests and wetlands and the use of pesticides and fertilizers used by the golf course, there is no way to conclude that this will not affect the quality of the reservoir water,” she said.

The following year, then-Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke canceled the project, and the organization later successfully opposed the proposed construction of cell towers on the reservoir property.

“Marge recognized early on that a healthy watershed is important not only to providing the entire Baltimore area with clean drinking water, but also to sustaining the recreational opportunities that many of us enjoy, as well as the habitats of so much native wildlife,” said Charles CA “Dutch” Ruppersberger, a former Baltimore County executive and current congressman, in a statement noting Ms. DiNardo’s death.

“She worked tirelessly to preserve his natural integrity and she really got the ball rolling when she created a conservation plan. She was greatly respected by her neighbors and the elected leaders she worked with on their behalf. Our community is a better place because of their efforts,” he said.

As an active member of the Greater Timonium Community Council, Ms. DiNardo was alarmed by the urban sprawl that Timonium was engulfing.

In a 2000 letter to The Sun, she urged then-district executive Ruppersberger to “look carefully at what has happened in Timonium over the past two years and to declare a moratorium on greater business and retail development”.

“We’re glutted with strip malls, new gas stations, car dealerships and fast food restaurants, not to mention the Target store, which is slated to open in July 2000 on a lot owned and sold to the developer of this giant by Baltimore County.” business was sold. She wrote. “I have to dream, and it’s not a pleasant dream. In fact, driving the York Road every day is more of a nightmare.”

Mrs. DiNardo was the founder and president of Shares Anon, which is believed to be Maryland’s first all-women investment club, family members said.

She had a fearless vivacious side.

“When my car was stolen in Roland Park in the late 1980s, my mother drove the streets of Roland Park for two days after reading that most cars were parked within 2 miles of the scene of the theft,” said her daughter. “My mother, riding in a car seat with her granddaughter Amy, arrived at a stop light behind my car, which was being driven by the thief. She followed the car to Towson Plaza, approached the thief while yelling for the police.”

After the malefactor was handcuffed and taken to Towson’s precinct, she was “allowed to verbally abuse him while he was in jail,” Ms. DiNardo said.

Ms. DiNardo was also president of the Baltimore Symphony Society, and when conductor Sergiu Comissiona arrived to conduct the symphony for 15 seasons in 1969, “Mama threw the conductor a notoriously fun party at our house,” Ms. DiNardo said.

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Although Ms. DiNardo suffered from rheumatoid arthritis at a young age, it didn’t let it limit her enjoyment of tennis, skiing and swimming. She was also a die-hard golfer.

“When I went to Loyola High School, she would drive me in the mornings and in the afternoons she could barely drive the car and she put me behind the wheel and I had to drive home. I was 15,” her son said.

A longtime member of Hillendale Country Club, she had two holes-in-one that entitled her to ring the club’s bell.

“She would be a hundred yards away and could hit a dime,” said her son, a golfer. “She also loved participating in child-parent golf tournaments.”

In addition to entertaining and spending time with her family, Ms. DiNardo was an accomplished painter and sculptor.

She was an active communicant at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church at 100 Church Lane, Cockeysville, where a Christian funeral service will be held at 11am on Thursday.

In addition to her son and daughter, she is survived by two other sons, Hector Paul DiNardo III of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania and Edmund Campion DiNardo of Sparks; another daughter, Mary Kay Daue of Lutherville; 16 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. She was raised by a son, Dr. Ignatius Loyola DiNardo, deceased, who died in 2019; and two daughters, Mary Margaret Adams in 2014 and Mary Josepha McCrone in 2018.

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