Jane Kroh Satterfield, who founded a physical therapy business to assist children with special needs and their families, died of cancer May 10 at the Gilchrist Towson Center. The Baldwin resident was 78.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Hamilton, she was the daughter of James Kroh, an A&P grocery chain executive, and his wife, Virgie May. She attended Saint Dominick School and was a 1960 graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory School. She earned a degree in physical therapy at the University of Maryland and a master’s degree at the Johns Hopkins University.
She worked as a physical therapist at the Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital and later founded her own physical therapy clinic at her home in Baldwin.
“She specialized in working with children when it was often difficult for them to travel. She provided in-home therapy,” said her daughter, Carey S. Fanzone of Parkton.
Her daughter said that Mrs. Satterfield realized that parents of children with special needs juggled doctors’ appointments, physical therapy sessions and speech therapy, all the while attempting to maintain their jobs and run a home.
In 1984 she founded Care Rehab, later Care Resources, and worked on physical, occupational and speech therapy services for children. She moved her base of operations to Towson before relocating to larger quarters on Cromwell Bridge Road.
“She was a positive person who tried to find something good in the worst of times,” said her son, Kristopher “Kris” Satterfield of Wilmington, Delaware. “She gave of her time and had more energy than people a quarter of her age.”
She employed occupational therapists, psychologists, special education teachers and nurses, more than 500 people before selling the business nearly nine years ago.
A statement from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and its Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science said, “She was a lifelong advocate for the field of pediatric physical therapy, especially in the care for children with special needs.”
The school’s statement said Mrs. Satterfield reacted to a changing medical landscape after the passage of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1975 and served on the Maryland Governor’s Task Force to devise a plan to integrate school-age children into special education programs within the state’s public school systems.
She received the Kendall Award in 1981 from the American Physical Therapy Association “for outstanding service to the profession.”
The University of Maryland statement said her company “grew to become one of the nation’s premier rehabilitation companies.”
The University of Maryland School of Medicine established a full-time tenure-track faculty position in her honor: the Jane Kroh Satterfield Professorship in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.
Mrs. Satterfield contributed to Notre Dame Preparatory School, supporting three scholarship funds and serving on its board of trustees. She was the 2018 Mother Caroline Friess Alumna of the Year award winner.
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A building on its Towson campus is named the Jane Kroh Satterfield Innovation Wing. The building will house classes in humanities, engineering, digital media, architecture, design and science.
“My mother wanted the Notre Dame girls to have all the advantages in fields that are traditional male-dominated,” said her daughter, Carey.
Sister Patricia McCarron, Notre Dame Preparatory School headmistress, said: “Jane was a visionary, a talented person who brought out the best in others and empowered them as well. She put the Gospel into action. She was an extraordinary board member and business leader.”
Mrs. Satterfield’s husband, Albert “Jody” Satterfield, a seafood broker, died in April. They were married 54 years.
In addition to her daughter and son, survivors include a sister, Mary Louise Weglein of Timonium, and five grandsons.