Catherine Ann Dill, a Columbia Bank executive active in Cecil County civic affairs, died of breast cancer Friday at her Warwick home. The former Timonium resident was 61.
Born Catherine Ann Valerino in Syracuse, N.Y., she was the daughter of Fredrick M. Valerino Sr., a director of Pevco, a mechanical contracting business, and Teresa McGraw.
Her family moved to Timonium when she was a child, and she attended St. Joseph's School. She was a 1973 graduate of Dulaney High School, where she played softball. She attended Le Moyne College in Syracuse and was a graduate of the Maryland Banking School.
She initially worked at a savings and loan association in Roland Park before joining the Peoples Bank of Elkton in 1996. She was later vice president of corporate services at the Columbia Bank in Elkton.
"She was energetic and involved in the community," said Jo Anne Reeves, a friend and Columbia Bank colleague who lives in Elkton. "She believed in providing customer service."
While in banking, she met her future husband, Wilbert Dill.
"She was a vibrant person who went the extra step for her customers," her husband said. "She would follow up and stay in touch with people making a loan application. She liked to have the satisfaction of helping people. She took great pride in her work."
Mrs. Dill was named 2010 Elkton Citizen of the Year, an honor created by the Elkton Alliance/Chamber of Commerce. She served four years as president of the Junior Board of Union Hospital in Elkton and led a community campaign to raise nearly $700,000 for the hospital. She also joined other hospital volunteers to run and stock the Good as New Shop in downtown Elkton.
"She was outgoing and had many interests," said Stepanie Palko, a friend who is editor of the Cecil Guardian. "She was from the Baltimore area and we claimed her here. She was highly respected in the business community. She was asked to take key positions on boards because she could accomplish so much. She was self-deprecating and did not want to be the center of attention. She had a special zest for life that brought her many friends."
She served on the board of a steeplechase event, the Breeders Fair, staged annually at Fair Hill.
She was also a board member and fund development committee chair of the Upper Bay Counseling and Support Services. committee. The Cecil County commissioners also named her to the Cecil County Services Board.
Mrs. Dill also was a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Cecil County and the Friends of Mount Harmon Plantation.
She was an animal fancier who walked her neighborhood with an Italian greyhound. She also gardened and enjoyed trips to antiques shops and local fairs, as well as the Maryland State Fair.
She joined her extended family on trips to the Outer Banks and to Europe.
"She was the spark in the family," said her father, who lives in Timonium. "She had a wonderful sense of humor and a positive, optimistic outlook on life."
Her brother, Frederick M. Valerino Jr., a Parkton resident, said, "She was outgoing and wanted to know about people. In the course of a conversation, if she found you needed some help, she would be working for you. She loved to meet new people and find out all about them."
A Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 100 Church Lane in Cockeysville. She was a member of St. Dennis Roman Catholic Church in Galena in Kent County.
In addition to her husband of 17 years, her parents and brother, survivors include another brother, James G. Valerino of Parkton; three sisters, Ann Hays of Baltimore, Susan Sheehan of Chatham, N.J., and Mary L. Gaultney of Timonium; and nieces and nephews.