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Jean L. Dignazio, age 78, passed on the night of International Woman's Day, March 8, marking the celebration of her kind while ending a long battle with cancer. As with many women, the main contribution of her lifetime was as social support, especially to her husband, Anthony J. and two children, Lisa (Troy Bradley) and John, who survive her.
This support included work with many women’s groups. She served as officer, organizer, and host for two in Howard County, where she lived for over 35 years: Newcomers Club of Howard County and an Ellicott City-based chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi 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.
After growing up in New York City and attending Staten Island's Curtis High School, where she was in the honor society, she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics at Skidmore College in 1960. She was employed to teach young children at both primary and nursery schools as she followed her husband through various career moves nationally and internationally, including two years in the 1970's behind the Iron Curtain in Berlin, West Germany.
Her transition to office management began in central Pennsylvania, where she lived for over a decade and worked at the district office of a U.S. Congressman, and on the Republican Party's campaign for U.S. Senate and the Presidency in 1976. Eventually, her husband's career took her to Howard County in 1982 and shortly afterward she was hired by a family dentistry practice, Katkow Dentistry. She retired after 15 years of service in 1998.
In addition to continuing to support her family, she spent the rest of her days indulging lifetime interests in fine arts and decor, musical theater, and world travel. With her husband she took multiple trips and cruises to countries such as Russia, China, and Brazil, where she collected artifacts in order to share her broad appreciation of people's creativity with others.
Along with her husband and children, she is also survived by many loving family and friends.
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123
Gilchrist Center of Howard County
5537 Twin Knolls Rd. #433, Columbia MD 21045
Hope Hospice of Fort Myers, FL
9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers FL 33908