S. Eric DiNenna, a land-use attorney and former Baltimore County zoning commissioner, died of a heart attack Saturday while on an overnight hunting trip to the Eastern Shore. He was 53.
A mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware Avenues, Towson.
Mr. DiNenna, who once ran unsuccessfully for Baltimore County executive, was a native of Baltimore.
He attended Calvert Hall and Loyola College, where he earned a history degree. He graduated from the Mount Vernon School of Law, now part of the University of Baltimore, in 1963, and received an advanced law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1970.
Mr. DiNenna began his career as a claims representative for State Farm Insurance Co. and was an assistant Baltimore County attorney from 1967 to 1970.
In 1970, he became deputy zoning commissioner. Eighteen months later, County Executive Dale Anderson appointed Mr. DiNenna zoning commissioner -- then one of the county's most visible and powerful jobs.
During the next eight years, Mr. DiNenna ruled on scores of rezoning requests, shaping the future of many county neighborhoods. His decisions often sparked controversy.
At one point in 1973, an angry councilman accused Mr. DiNenna of trying to sabotage the County Council's zoning maps and predicted he would not be reappointed when his term ended in 1975.
But Mr. DiNenna was reappointed by the new county executive, Theodore G. Venetoulis, after he wonc high marks from civic associations around the county for his professionalism.
In 1978, he took a leave of absence to run an unsuccessful campaign for county executive. He left the zoning office in 1979 and went into private practice.
In 1982, he was appointed a court master by the Baltimore County Circuit Court to hear child-support and alimony cases.
He also coached football, baseball and basketball for the Cockeysville Recreation Council.
He is survived by his wife of 28 years, the former Susan Coulthard of Phoenix; four sons, Eric, David, Matthew and Joseph DiNenna, and a daughter, Mary DiNenna, all of Phoenix; his mother, Anne DiNenna of Baltimore; and a sister, Veronica Dilworth of Kingsville.