Patricia E. Sadowski, a retired Baltimore County public schools reading specialist and music lover, died Sunday from congestive heart failure at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The Oak Crest Village resident was 76.
"Pat worked with children who were learning to read and those who had been diagnosed with learning difficulties," said Flora Smith of Mount Washington, who worked with Mrs. Sadowski at Oakleigh and Hillendale elementary schools. "She was the ultimate professional."
The daughter of a business executive and a homemaker, the former Patricia Ellen Morrison was born in Baltimore and raised in Ridgewood, N.J., and Roland Park. She attended the Institute of Notre Dame and graduated from Marymount Secondary School in Tarrytown, N.Y.
After graduating in 1959 from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor's degree in education, she taught elementary school in San Francisco's Chinatown. She returned to Baltimore, where she was a public school educator.
Mrs. Sadowski, who began teaching in Baltimore County public schools in 1962, was a 1968 cum laude graduate of what is now Loyola University Maryland, where she earned a master's degree in education.
She was a teacher and later a reading specialist during her 30-year tenure in county schools. She taught at Rodgers Forge, Carney, Cromwell Valley, Oakleigh, Hillendale and Padonia elementary schools before retiring in 1992.
"Growing up with dyslexia, she always wanted to help children have a more positive experience at school than she did," said a daughter, Patrick Preblick of Glen Ridge, N.J., the director of publicity at ABC-TV in New York City.
"She helped thousands of elementary school students as a classroom teacher and then as a remedial reading specialist," said Ms. Preblick. "She was extremely compassionate, smart, kind and organized, and her students thrived under her tutelage."
"Pat took great pride in her work," Ms. Smith said. "She was passionate about her work, patient, kind and accepting of all the children with whom she worked. She took great pride and joy in their successes and touched many lives of those who were fortunate to have her as their teacher."
The longtime resident of Breezewick Road in Towson moved to the Parkville retirement community eight years ago. She was an active member and former president of the Three Arts Club of Homeland, where she enjoyed cultural field trips and events at its Wyndhurst Avenue clubhouse.
"She had been vice president, which meant she was in charge of the house, and had been luncheon chair," said Ruth S. Winebrenner of Baltimore, a retired gifted and talented language arts teacher at Dumbarton Middle School who got to know Mrs. Sadowski at the Three Arts Club more than a decade ago.
"Whatever Pat did, she was always very enthused. She was very sociable but low-key," Ms. Winebrenner said. "She loved the Three Arts Club and liked to play mah-jongg there. She also was a very charitable person who was always giving to various charities."
Mrs. Sadowski met her future husband, Leon J. Sadowski, a Social Security Administration analyst, at a Parents Without Partners meeting. They married in 1973.
Mrs. Sadowski collected hand-carved wooden carousel horses and enjoyed listening to ragtime and choir music. She was also an avid reader.
Ms. Preblick said her mother's "passion was her family."
"She was generous, a great listener, and quick to pen a thank-you letter," her daughter said. "She had impeccable manners, exhorting her children and grandchildren to be courteous and thoughtful. Among her main mottoes of life was, 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.'"
Mrs. Sadowski was a communicant of Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Baynesville.
Services are private.
In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Sadowski is survived by three sons, John Sadowski of Mount Airy, David Sadowski of Perry Hall and Matt Sadowski of Aberdeen; three other daughters, Carol Sadowski Libercci of Joppatowne, Claire Sadowski of Loch Raven and Susan Hayes of Fallston; a brother, Thomas Morrison of Greenwich, Conn.; 18 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun