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Reginald A. Pinder Sr., a retired manager in the Howard County youth detention system, dies

Reginald Pinder Sr. "had awesome culinary skills and was a foodie,” said his wife.
Reginald Pinder Sr. "had awesome culinary skills and was a foodie,” said his wife.

Reginald A. Pinder Sr., a retired manager in the Howard County youth detention system, died May 17 of cancer complications at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The West Friendship resident was 70.

Born in Baltimore and raised on West Mulberry Street, he was the son of Emma Pinder Barnes, a health care worker, and Alfonso Barnes, a landscaper.

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“His close-knit family instilled the values that remained at the forefront of his life,” said his wife, Sharon Roberson Pinder. “Their strong work ethic, sense of family tradition, and his grandmother’s culinary skills provided a direction for Reginald.”

He attended Calverton Heights Junior High School and was a 1968 graduate of Baltimore City College, where he played intramural basketball.

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He attended Morgan State University and also worked full time at the old Western Electric Point Breeze Works in Southeast Baltimore.

He meet his future wife, Sharon Roberson at a party. They married Oct. 3, 1981.

In the late 1970s he attended Antioch College, where one of his professors suggested he consider a career in public service.

His wife said this led to his decision to join the State of Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services, where he spent over 35 years.

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“He cut his teeth in the Community Detention Program for the City of Baltimore,” she said. “Reginald had a front-row seat in experiencing the evolution of crime committed by youth in the criminal justice system.

“He had a respected perspective of issues, their cause, and effect. Often Reginald was the center of cocktail conversations on this controversial issue,” she said. “He was a dedicated public servant.”

She said her husband’s work at the Community Detention Program involved a statewide alternative to detention.

“Youth who commit a new offense are given the opportunity to remain home awaiting court as opposed to remaining in secure detention facilities,” she said. “This program allows youth to continue with school and court-ordered activities while being monitored electronically in their home through daily contacts with juvenile services staff members. "

Mr. Pinder was managing the Community Detention Program for Howard County in 2017 when he retired.

Friends recalled Mr. Pinder as a tall man who could turn heads when he entered a room

“He had an unforgettable swag,” his wife said.

He was also an avid reader who was an articulate speaker. He loved the arts, theater, concerts and music. He also traveled throughout the world with his wife and enjoyed dancing.

He was recalled as a man with a wide circle of friends. As a young man, he and his group called themselves the Banditos. They loved Western films.

“He talked about going to the Hippodrome to see these Westerns,” said his wife.

Later in life Mr. Pinder joined another social organization, the Phalanx Club.

His wife said their home was a focal point of memorable gatherings for family and friends. They celebrated holidays, birthdays and for several years hosted their “Last Saturday Party” an event that filled their home.

“My husband had awesome culinary skills and was a foodie,” said his wife. “He was a fan of cooking shows and always tried new dishes. He had superb grilling skills, and his dishes were always a crowd favorite.

“My husband was the smartest person I know,” said his wife. “He was my protector, biggest cheerleader for all my endeavors, and my very best friend. He had a common-sense approach that made him an incredible source of knowledge and an adviser-in-demand by his friends and family.”

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, who is president of the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council; his daughter, Biah Pinder Nkanda of Bowie; a godson the family helped raise, Reginald Mack of Baltimore; and two grandchildren. His son, Reginald Pinder Jr., died in 2003.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the March Life Tribute Center, 5616 OId Court Road in Windsor Mills.

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