Mary A. Lietuvnikas

[Age 85] She co-founded a school for people with cerebral palsy.

September 19, 2007

Mary A. Lietuvnikas, a registered nurse who held nursing and administrative positions at Bon Secours Hospital and later co-founded a school for children and adults with cerebral palsy, died of heart failure Sept. 9 at St. Agnes Hospital.

The former longtime Arbutus resident was 85.

Born in Lithuania, Mary Aldona Lietuvnikas immigrated to Baltimore with her family in 1923, settling near Union Square.

She was a graduate of the old St. Martin's High School and Bon Secours Hospital School of Nursing.

In 1944, she joined the Sisters of Bon Secours and worked at Bon Secours Hospital, where she was active with its "Pinky Program," which introduced high school students to the nursing profession.

She also had served as supervisor of the medical and surgical units at the hospital, director of purchasing and assistant hospital administrator.

In 1963, she left her order to care for aging parents and work for the United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland.

In 1964, she was a co-founder with Dr. George A. Lentz of what became the Delrey Learning Center in Catonsville for children and adults who have cerebral palsy.

Today, the school that began with four employees now has 200, and has introduced adult day care and independent living programs.

At her 1984 retirement, Miss Lietuvnikas was director of Delrey's child services division.

A resident of the Charlestown retirement community since 1993, Miss Lietuvnikas enjoyed reading and gardening.

A funeral Mass was offered Friday at the Catonsville retirement community.

Surviving are a sister, Florence Ruth Reich of Virginia Beach, Va.; and many nieces and nephews.

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