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Radelle F. Rittenhouse, 88, teacher, social worker


Radelle Fanseen Rittenhouse, a retired Baltimore teacher and social worker, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Thursday at the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson. She was 88 and had resided most recently in North Homeland.

Born in Baltimore, the daughter of an attorney, Radelle Marie Fanseen was a 1935 graduate of Friends School and received her bachelor's degree in Romance languages from Goucher College in 1939.

Mrs. Rittenhouse taught second grade in the Baltimore school system from 1957 to 1960, when she embarked on her true calling, social work. In 1960 she became a caseworker for what was then the Baltimore City Department of Welfare, concentrating on adoptions.

In 1965, Mrs. Rittenhouse became a social worker for the League for the Handicapped, where she stayed until retiring in the mid-1970s.

Her 1941 marriage to Thomas W. Gordon ended in divorce, and in 1970 she married Samuel A. Rittenhouse and moved to Severna Park.

She was formerly a deacon at Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore and a volunteer at Blakehurst Health Center. She had belonged to the Chartwell Garden Club and was a 50-year member of the Woman's Club of Roland Park.

"She had ... a gift for social work. It translated into her volunteer work later on in life," said her granddaughter, Heather Harlan Warnack of Baltimore. "She just really enjoyed it."

Services were yesterday.

Surviving, in addition to her husband and granddaughter, are a daughter, Mary Dell Harlan of Baltimore; a stepdaughter, Linda Rittenhouse of Salt Lake City; a stepson, David Rittenhouse of Delray Beach, Fla.; a sister, Helen F. Langrall of Baltimore; a grandson; and a great-grandson.

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