Mary J. Rinehimer, a retired Baltimore County schools librarian, dies

Mary J. Rinehimerwas a retired Baltimore County public schools librarian who had a penchant for mysteries and travel.

Mary J. Rinehimer, a retired Baltimore County public schools librarian who had a penchant for mysteries and travel, died of dementia Thursday at Wicomico Nursing Home in Salisbury. The former Parkton resident was 97.

The daughter of Henry Letcher Honemann, an accountant, and Maude Elizabeth Honemann, a homemaker, Mary Janes Honemann was born in Baltimore and raised in the 3400 block of Park Heights Ave.


A devout Swedenborgian, she attended the Swedenborgian Church on Calvert Street with her family, and later after marriage with her husband and children, family members said.

After graduating in 1935 from Western High School, she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, in 1939.


In 1945, she married Edgar Wilkins Rinehimer, an educator who later became a Baltimore public schools administrator.

The couple lived for a while in Manchester, N.Y., before moving to Northwest Baltimore. They later moved to a home on Regester Avenue in Stoneleigh.

Mrs. Rinehimer began her library career in 1961 at Parkville Elementary School. She subsequently was librarian at Ruxton Elementary School and Hampton Elementary School, from which she retired in 1982.

"She was respected and loved by the children and teachers. She was a typical children's librarian of the day," said Marian C. Drach, former supervisor of library and media services for Baltimore County public schools, who lives in Towson.

"She was very much involved with the collection and was very good at reading aloud to the children. She really enjoyed getting them interested in learning how to reach," Mrs. Drach said. "She was a good listener and loved those children and was as gentle with them as if they were her own family."

Mrs. Rinehimer also maintained an extensive library in her home that was focused on poetry and mysteries — especially English mysteries, said a daughter, Sandra M. Rinehimer of Salisbury.

"She loved reading, and especially mysteries. Some of her favorite mystery writers were Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers," her daughter said. "She also liked modern mystery writers such as P.D. James."

Mrs. Rinehimer continued to enjoy reading until she was in her 80s, when macular degeneration impaired her eyesight, her daughter said.


She and her husband traveled cross-country in their trailer.

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"They also traveled extensively abroad," her daughter said. "And when any grandchild got to be 8 years old, they went on a trip with them."

Mr. Rinehimer died in 1996.

Mrs. Rinehimer, who moved to Parkton in 1986 and to Salisbury in 2009, also liked to do crossword puzzles and entertain family and friends, her daughter said. "She was a quiet person but not greatly so. She was a very friendly and an intelligent and studious person who always did well in school," Ms. Rinehimer said. "And she was a great mom."

"Mary Jane was a profound influence in my life, and we became very good friends," Mrs. Drach said.

"I saw her every Friday night, and I became so much a part of her family that they called me Aunt Marian," she said. "She was a very quiet, sweet and gentle person. She was also just a great librarian."


A memorial service for Mrs. Rinehimer will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at Allen United Methodist Church, 26679 Collins Wharf Road in Allen, Wicomico County.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Jon E. Rinehimer of Monkton; two other daughters, Karen Mitchell of Allen and Phyllis E. Gowdy of Currituck, N.C.; a brother, Daniel H. Honemann of Timonium; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.