Adria Theresa Litrenta, a Peabody Conservatory-trained musician who co-owned Dundalk’s Pinland duckpin bowling lanes, died of vascular disease Oct. 5 at her home. She was 90 and lived her life in Dundalk.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Tolson Avenue, she was the daughter of Marcello R. Storelli, a Lockheed Martin engineer and sculptor, and his wife, Renata Cantoni, a Hutzler Brothers seamstress. She was a member of the 1947 class of Dundalk High School and studied the cello and the piano at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Mount Vernon. She made her cello concert debut at the Hotel Belvedere in 1948.
Mrs. Litrenta played the piano for her family and attended summer music camps in the Adirondacks.
“She was proud to have been a founding member of the former Dundalk Concert Association and served as its secretary for more than 50 years," said her daughter, Patrice L. Severson of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. "One year she welcomed the Trapp Family Singers to our neighborhood to a performance. She played the Hungarian Rhapsody on her cello at home while her children danced around the living room.”
She met her future husband, Michael G. Litrenta, through mutual connections in the two families.
“They all lived around each other and my mother bought groceries from a store my dad’s father owned. They all spoke Italian in those days,” said her daughter.
She and her husband founded Pinland Bowling Lanes in Dundalk in 1951 in the commercial heart of the community at 10 Dundalk Ave.
“She loved bowling and missed bowling more than anything in her later years,” her daughter said.
Mrs. Litrenta served as secretary of Pinland for decades and handled the daily operation of the business.
Her son, Steven A. Litrenta, a Lutherville resident who now owns the bowling center, said his mother taught bowling to neighborhood children on Saturday mornings.
“Pinland was a part of her life and a part of the life of the entire family,” he said. “My mother and father were great friends of the pro bowler Toots Barger, too. Toots bowled here two or three mornings a week." Elizabeth “Toots” Barger, known as the Queen of the Duckpins, was the second woman inducted in the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame.
A 1995 Sun story described the Litrenta family as a “duckpin dynasty.”
“The Litrentas and Dundalk bowling were a natural. In the days before fitness gyms became an obsession, the East side was dotted with scores of manufacturing plants. Men and women and their children joined leagues for a bit of light exercise, good times and maybe a sandwich afterward,” The Sun said in the article.
Mrs. Litrena kept scores and statistics for variety of leagues that included bricklayers, Saint Rita’s Ladies and Bethlehem Steel workers from its wire and rod mill, fuel department and tin mill.
She also had nonbusiness leagues named the Hi Hopes, Get Ums, Moosettes, Alley Gals, Lazy Pins, Tootsie Rolls, Lo Rollers and Gutter Dusters.
Her daughter said Mrs. Litrenta was a good mathematician and handled finances with ease.
“She had a good money sense. Whatever she did, she did it seriously," her daughter said. “She always completed the task she had to do.”
Mrs. Litrenta remained busy at Pinland until about 2000.
“One of the many joys of her life was baby-sitting and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” her daughter said. “She was the matriarch of her family and loved spending time cooking, hosting holiday dinners and spending her time with those she cherished. She was also a dutiful and devoted daughter to her parents.”
Mrs. Litrenta also enjoyed many friendships within the Dundalk community.
A life celebration will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Duda-Ruck Funeral Home of Dundalk, 7922 Wise Ave. There will be a visitation from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., also at the Duda-Ruck home.
In addition to her daughter and son, survivors include three other daughters, Janis L. Holler of Lutherville, Karen L. Leikus of Timonium and Denise L. Kellinger of Elkridge; 13 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Her husband of 58 years died in 2009.