Dorothy C. Sartorius, a former educator who was a homemaker and active volunteer, died of cancer Monday at Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville, where she had lived since 1988.
She was 91.
Dorothy Cooper was born in Baltimore and spent her early years in Glencoe before moving to Burke Avenue in Towson with her family in 1920.
She was a 1930 graduate of Towson High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Goucher College in 1934.
She began teaching English at Kenwood High School where she met and fell in love with William S. Sartorius, a history teacher. They wed in 1937.
"Her father, Clarence G. Cooper, was Baltimore County superintendent of public schools, and he hired her future husband, who later became superintendent of Baltimore County public schools," said her daughter, Anne S. Payne of Severna Park.
In 1937, Mrs. Sartorius stopped teaching and accompanied her husband to Ocean City when he was appointed principal of Ocean City High School.
It was during those years in Ocean City that Mrs. Sartorius developed a lifelong affection for the resort city.
Her husband was principal of Sparrows Point and Catonsville high schools and later was superintendent in both Worcester and Cecil counties, until being named Baltimore County superintendent in 1961. He retired in 1970 and died in 2001.
"She and her husband were the perfect in-laws. They were always kind, considerate, helpful when help was wanted, and nonjudgmental," said F. Carvel Payne, son-in-law and former director of the Department of Legislative Reference in Annapolis.
Mrs. Sartorius, who sometime worked as substitute teacher, busied herself raising her family. She enjoyed gardening, baking, feeding the birds and playing bridge.
"She had a sense of color and design, and could arrange flowers so effortlessly," said the daughter, Mrs. Payne.
Mrs. Sartorius was a longtime member of Towson Presbyterian Church, where she was a member of its Church Circle and had been a Sunday school teacher. She also was a Maryland Meals on Wheels volunteer.
"Dorothy was a special lady for all seasons. She loved her family, friends and her flowers," said Frances S. Meginnes, a retired English teacher and friend for more than 50 years.
"She always showed a lot of warmth for people, and every Christmas she'd make a pot of vegetable soup for me. I love vegetable soup, and that was my present," she said.
In 1976, she and her husband purchased an Ocean City condominium.
"She loved the ocean and visited there last summer. It was her refuge whenever life got rough. She always found peace there," her daughter said.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at her church, 400 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson.
Also surviving are two sons, William S. Sartorius Jr. of Miami Beach and John C. Sartorius of Cape Elizabeth, Maine; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.