E. Anna Rossiter Lamdin arrived at the old Rossiter's Restaurant at Hanover and Hamburg streets about 9 a.m. daily. Not one to ease her way into a day's work, she would plunge almost immediately into making her special crab recipes.
"And she wouldn't leave there until 2 the next morning," said her daughter, Lynn Macfarland of Sparks. "This was every single day, seven days a week."
Mrs. Lamdin, 84, who died Sunday of Alzheimer's disease at Genesis Eldercare Center on Falls Road, worked long hours because she wanted to maintain the South Baltimore restaurant's reputation for seafood.
"Some might have said it was the food, but her being there made you want to come back," said Fred Cusick, a South Baltimore resident and a one-time regular customer.
Rossiter's Restaurant seated about 300 and had a long bar near the entrance for additional seating. A radio often played behind the bar, usually tuned to horse races or another sporting event.
Rossiter's Restaurant was a family-run business begun by her parents in the early 1920s. Mrs. Lamdin worked there in every capacity her entire life and took over its management in the 1950s.
But perhaps her best duty -- and the one probably hardest to replace -- was the mixing and blending of spices and herbs to prepare an assortment of crab delicacies.
During the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the restaurant thrived at its South Baltimore location, attracting diners who traveled by car through the city en route to points north and south of Baltimore.
However, business slowed in the 1950s because of new highways that routed traffic away from South Baltimore and in 1959 the restaurant relocated to Sparks. A fire destroyed the business in 1964, but it reopened on Beaver Dam Road in Cockeysville in 1968. Mrs. Lamdin retired in 1984.
Born in Baltimore, Eleanor Anna Rossiter graduated from Seton High School in 1930.
She married George Francis Reagan in 1934; he died in 1950. She married James F. Lamdin in 1954; he died in 1987. She lived in Timonium before moving to Genesis Eldercare Center.
Private services were held yesterday.
Other survivors include a daughter, Patricia Covahey of Timonium; two sons, James Lamdin of Boca Raton, Fla., and Eugene Lamdin of Westminster; five grandchildren; and five great- grandchildren.
Pub Date: 12/04/96