Dahlia Jean Ratrie, 78, homemaker

August 29, 2006

Dahlia Jean "Dal" Ratrie, a homemaker and former administrative assistant at her husband's paving and construction site preparation business, died of a respiratory illness Aug. 22 at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 78 and most recently resided in Mays Chapel.

Born Dahlia Jean Biondini in Baltimore and raised in Graceland Park, she was a 1946 graduate of Sparrows Point High School.

She worked at Consolidated Engineering in downtown Baltimore and in 1965 married engineer Harry Ratrie Jr., an owner of the paving business Ratrie, Robbins and Schweizer. She worked for the business at its office on St. Paul Street in the city's Old Goucher neighborhood.

Mrs. Ratrie and her husband resided at Bryn Awel, a Baltimore County estate where she raised her children and prepared elaborate meals, many of them reflecting her Italian heritage.

"She was a great entertainer," said her husband. "If you missed one of her parties, you missed something."

The couple sold Bryn Awel about six years ago.

A member of Baltimore County Club, she golfed, played tennis and skied. She ran an informal Friday morning group called Dal's Gals.

Services were held Saturday.

Survivors also include a son, Tom Ratrie of Towson; two stepsons, Michael Ratrie of Kent Island and Harry Ratrie III of Baltimore; two daughters, Sheila Pinsch of Phoenix in Baltimore County and Pamela Marquess of Timonium; a sister, Rena Zerr of Salisbury; and six grandchildren. A daughter, Debbie Burgess, died in 1996. A stepson, Robert Ratrie, died in 1971.

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