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Jean L. Dignazio, office manager and Columbia resident, dies

Jean Dignazio was active in the Newcomers Club of Howard County and the Xi Alpha Tau social sorority.
Jean Dignazio was active in the Newcomers Club of Howard County and the Xi Alpha Tau social sorority. (Handout)

Jean L. Dignazio, a retired office manager who was active in several Howard County social organizations, died March 8 from cancer at her Columbia home. She was 78.

Jean Norma Lowes was the daughter of Norman K. Lowes, an accountant, and Dorothy M. Lowes, a New York City public schools educator. She was born in New York City and raised on Staten Island, N.Y., where she was an honors graduate of Curtis High School.

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After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in 1960 in home economics from Skidmore College, she taught in both primary and nursery schools.

She was married in 1960 to Anthony J. Dignazio, an engineering manager. Because of her husband’s work, they lived in Germany and later in State College, Pa. They resided there for more than a decade.

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While living in State College, Mrs. Dignazio was active in Republican politics and worked in the unsuccessful reelection campaign of U.S. Rep. Albert W. Johnson in 1976, and Gerald R. Ford’s campaign for the presidency that year.

In 1982, she and her family moved to Columbia, and the next year she joined the dental practice of Katkow Dentistry LLC as office manager. She retired in 1998.

For more than 35 years, Mrs. Dignazio was an active member of the Newcomers Club of Howard County and the Xi Alpha Tau social sorority.

“She was known for attracting women new to the county to get involved in activities such as gaming and reading events, and cultural excursions to nearby cities such as Philadelphia, Wilmington and the District of Columbia,” wrote her son, John A. D’Ignazio, of Columbia, in a biographical profile of his mother.

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Her interests ranged from fine arts to decor, and from musical theater to world travel. With her husband, she traveled and took cruises to Russia, China and Brazil, and acquired artifacts from the countries she visited.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Harry H. Witzke Funeral Home, 4112 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City.

In addition to her husband of 58 years and her son, she is survived by a daughter, Lisa J. Dignazio of Columbia.

--Frederick N. Rasmussen

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