Rhona P. Dorf

[ Age 76 ] The apparel shop owner and real estate agent grew up with politics as daughter of political boss `Jack' Pollack.

January 19, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun reporter

Rhona P. Dorf, former owner of a women's apparel shop who later worked in real estate sales, died of complications from dementia Thursday at Ruxton Health and Rehabilitation Center. She was 76 and had lived in Cheswolde and Owings Mills.

Rhona Pollack was born in Baltimore and raised on Anoka Avenue. She was the daughter of James H. "Jack" Pollack, the legendary Baltimore political boss and head of the Trenton Democratic Club, who died in 1977.

"She was very close to her dad and listened to all of the politicians who called at the house. She was very savvy when it came to politics," said her husband of 57 years, retired City Circuit Judge Paul A. Dorf, now a partner in the Baltimore law firm of Adelberg, Rudow Dorf & Hendler LLC.

"When I ran for the state Senate from the 5th District, she went house to house campaigning. She helped me with speeches and went to the various political clubs," he said.

"She had stuffed envelopes for her father and became a very active campaigner for my father and even managed his campaigns," said a daughter, Cindy D. Kleiman of Owings Mills.

Mrs. Dorf was a 1946 graduate of Forest Park High School. She attended the University of Wisconsin and studied law at the University of Maryland for three years.

"She would have made a wonderful lawyer," her husband said.

In the early 1970s, Mrs. Dorf opened Rhona Dorf's Linens and Lingerie on Kelly Avenue in Mount Washington. She later opened Rhona Dorf's Dress Shop in the 700 block of Deepdene Road in Roland Park. "She sold upscale sportswear and fine dresses," her daughter said.

After closing the shop in the 1980s, Mrs. Dorf earned her real estate license and went to work for Fiola S. Blum, the Northwest Baltimore Realtor.

"She became the exclusive rental agent for Pavilion in the Park in Pikesville," Mr. Dorf said.

From 1987 to 2005, Mrs. Dorf had lived in Boca Raton, Fla.

Mrs. Dorf, who enjoyed giving "fancy dinner parties," her daughter said, also liked attending the theater, symphony and opera. She was also a cat fancier and dog lover.

She was a member of Beth Tfiloh Congregation, Hadassah and the Woodholme Country Club.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road.

Also surviving are a son, James H. Dorf of Reisterstown; a niece she raised, Kellye Radford of Columbus, Ohio; a brother, Morton C. Pollack of Key Biscayne, Fla.; a half-sister, Edwinna Bergman of Ayden, N.C.; and two grandchildren. Another daughter, Jayme D. Weinstein, died in 2004.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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