Donald R. Christ, 79, Bethlehem Steel official

Donald Riordan Christ, an engineer and retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. official, died of cancer Jan. 19 at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Fallston resident was 79.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Govans, he attended City College and earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware in Newark, Del., and a master's degree from Drexel Institute of Technology.


He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and became a lieutenant in a fighter group in Europe, piloting a P-47 Thunderbolt in raids over Germany. From 1946 to 1949, he was a member of the Delaware Air National Guard.

He joined Bethlehem at Sparrows Point in 1949 and retired as a chief project manager, working in the pipe mill and the ore-handling system. He then held engineering jobs with the state Department of General Services and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services' office of capital construction.


Until 2002, he was a design reviewer at Indam Engineers in Ellicott City.

Mr. Christ was a member of the Sparrows Point Country Club and a past president of the Brandywine Farms Community Association in Fallston and the Bayberry Woods Condominium Association in Bethany Beach, Del., where a recreation center was named for him last year.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Friday at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church, 812 Reckord Road in Fallston, where he was a member.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, the former Rita Mae Patnovic; a son, Timothy B. Christ of Stewartstown, Pa.; four daughters, Karen E. Cannon and Clare M. Owings, both of Jarrettsville, Susan A. Niller of Lutherville and Nancy L. Ogrysko of Forest Hill; and 11 grandchildren.