Mary Kathryn Farinholt, 78, advocate for poor

February 02, 2004

Mary Kathryn Farinholt, an advocate for the poor and homeless, died Jan. 26 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the Gilchrest Center for Hospice Care. She was 78 and lived at Broadmead in Cockeysville.

Mary Kathryn Snyder was born in Philadelphia and worked as a teen-ager in a box factory, cultivating a lifelong sympathy with unions.

She won a full scholarship to Bryn Mawr College, earning a bachelor's degree in history in 1945. She received a master's degree in guidance and secondary education from Columbia University in 1965.

After college, she worked in the State Department's public affairs office and as an intern at the National Labor Relations Board.

In 1947, she married Larkin H. Farinholt of Baltimore, a chemistry professor whose career took the couple to New York, London and Washington.

In the 1960s, the couple settled down to raise three children in Leonia, N.J., where Mrs. Farinholt became involved in local politics and wrote free-lance articles on matters of social justice and other topics. She also worked as an educational counselor at City University of New York and advised hundreds of students from the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Her husband died shortly after the couple moved to Baltimore in 1990. Mrs. Farinholt volunteered at Dunbar High School and for advocacy groups for the disadvantaged.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. March 20 at Broadmead, 13801 York Road, Cockeysville.

Survivors include a son, Larkin H. Farinholt Jr. of Los Angeles; two daughters, Kathryn S. Farinholt and Mary Victoria Farinholt, both of Baltimore; and three grandsons.

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