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Samuel J. Dantoni, state delegate

Samuel J. Dantoni was a former Baltimore County councilman who later served in the House of Delegates.
Samuel J. Dantoni was a former Baltimore County councilman who later served in the House of Delegates.

Samuel J. Dantoni, a former Baltimore County councilman who later served in the House of Delegates and retired as an administrative judge for the Social Security Administration, died of kidney disease Friday at La Casa, an Annapolis assisted-living facility.

The Millersville resident was 88.

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The son of Joseph Dantoni, a foreman for the Chesapeake Shoe Manufacturing Co., and Mildred Armsworthy Dantoni, a clerk, Samuel Joseph Dantoni was born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville.

He left Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington when he was 16 to enlist in the Navy. He served as a storekeeper in the Pacific. After being discharged at war's end, he returned to Baltimore, where he earned his General Education Development certificate.

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He attended Mount St. Mary's College and earned his law degree in 1952 from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He was admitted to the bar that year.

A Democrat, Mr. Dantoni was a member of the Baltimore County Council from 1966 to 1970. He served in the House of Delegates representing the 1st District in Catonsville from 1971 to 1975.

Along with Dels. Stephen J. Arata and J. Edward Malone, Mr. Dantoni introduced what was generally referred to as the "hot dog bill," which called for labeling reform dealing with the contents of hot dogs and hamburgers.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Marvin Mandel in 1973, challenged the prevailing notion of the "all meat" hot dog when it came to listing its contents, which could contain, among other things, cow's lips, ears and snouts.

In a pun-filled letter to Governor Mandel, Mr. Dantoni wrote, "Speaking quite 'frankly,' I can report that a groundswell of support for this bill has already been 'mustered.' Your support would be 'relished.'"

In 1980, Mr. Dantoni was appointed an administrative judge for the SSA, a position he held until retiring in 1998.

For years, he was the owner of the Midway Tavern in Catonsville.

Mr. Dantoni enjoyed coaching baseball, fishing and gardening.

His wife of 55 years, the former Marilyn Lucey, died in 2013.

Mr. Dantoni was a communicant of St. Mark Roman Catholic Church, 26 Melvin Ave., where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

He is survived by his daughter, Joan Marie Dantoni Harris of Millersville; a brother, Joseph W. Dantoni of Towson; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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