Patricia Dexter, 77, president of heating firm

February 04, 2004

Patricia Dexter, president of a heating and air-conditioning firm, died Saturday of complications from heart and lung ailments at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The North Baltimore resident was 77.

Born Patricia Ruth Stockum in Baltimore and raised in the Guilford neighborhood, she attended Calvert School and was a 1943 graduate of Roland Park Country School.

She then enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering, and later earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics at Cornell University. She also earned a master's degree in math from Hopkins.

In 1944, she married George W. Dexter, founder of the Dexter Co., a Falls Road firm that sells commercial heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment. Mrs. Dexter joined the firm in 1950 and became its president in 1983. Family members said she often bid projects, made sales and completed engineering studies.

"She was known throughout her industry for her ability to problem-solve," said her daughter, Susan D. Cesare of Baltimore. "She was an expert in fan engineering and application."

A member of the Baltimore Country Club, she played bridge and golf, and sailed and raced a 40-foot Owens cutter, the Rubicon, on the Chesapeake Bay.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. David's Episcopal Church, 4700 Roland Ave.

Survivors, in addition to her husband and daughter, include three other daughters, Elizabeth S. Dexter of Merion, Pa., Katherine D. Crothall of Philadelphia and Barbara D. Agerton of Baltimore; and six grandchildren. A son, Robert B. Dexter, died in 1974.

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