Dorothy Birrane, 69

Dorothy E. Birrane, a homemaker who wrote about her life, died of cancer Friday at her Timonium home. She was 69.

Born Dorothy Elisa Piersanti in Baltimore and raised in Pimlico, she was a 1955 graduate of Maryvale Preparatory School and earned an associate's degree at Villa Julie College. She also attended the Peabody Conservatory.


In 1958, she married Edward J. Birrane Jr., who served as Maryland insurance commissioner in the 1970s. She played piano and often accompanied her tenor husband as he sang at social events they hosted. She also played the works of Rachmaninoff and Chopin for friends.

After raising a family, Mrs. Birrane studied at Goucher College and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. She studied memoir writing and joined the Wednesday Writers, a Timonium group. She was a contributor to its book, Filling in the Dash.


Her prose and poetry were dramatized and included in Theatre Hopkins performances in 2005.

"Her work communicated her compassion, her kindness and her capacity to see the value and the meaning of the human experience in each person and each event," said a daughter, Kathleen A. Birrane of Lutherville.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 101 Church Lane in Cockeysville.

Survivors also include a son, Edward J. Birrane III of White Marsh; another daughter, Lisa M. Markovitz of Ellicott City; a brother, Ralph E. Piersanti of Nottingham in Baltimore County; and three grandchildren. Her husband died in 2001.