Dorothy Mae Rineer 93, executive secretary of Woodstream

By on March 13, 2013

Dorothy M. Rineer, 93, of Lititz, a trailblazing executive secretary of the Woodstream Corporation of Lititz for almost 35 years, died Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013.

A spitfire of a woman, she was the first woman in the company to travel on business. After seeing a photo in Vogue magazine for a pantsuit, she made her own without a pattern and wore it to the office, where women were required to wear skirts. The following day, an office memo declared that women could wear pantsuits.

Born in Lancaster on Sept. 25, 1919, Dottie graduated from J.P. McCaskey High School in 1938 in Lancaster’s first gender-integrated class of students and continued her education at Lancaster Business School.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Charles E. Rineer, who died in 1985; parents: Mary Elizabeth (Kohler) and Howard J. Schwartz; brother: John A. Schwartz; and sister: June Schwartz Maharg Ebbert.

The center of a close family, she is survived by her daughter: Dr. Carla M. Rineer and her companion Howard J. Miller, Jr. (Lancaster); and her granddaughter: Tara (Ritter) Poag and her spouse, Andrew J. Poag (Philadelphia); as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Her friends and family will always treasure her for her high spirits, determination and drive. She loved sports, playing baseball for the Northern Lights during World War II, and high school field hockey. Her favorite time of year was baseball season, when she watched her beloved Philadelphia Phillies.

She was a member of Lititz Moravian Church, as well as the Lititz American Business Club, where she was involved in numerous theater productions. She was also dedicated to her personal writing, penning letters to friends and family across the country and in Ireland, and keeping a daily journal since 1976.

The shock registered by so many people when they hear of her passing stands as a testament to her zest for life. A stubborn force of nature to the end, we are all proud to say she was ours.

Dottie’s memorial service took place on March 1 at Groff’s Family Funeral & Cremation Services with Rev. Dean Jurgen officiating and the family receiving friends. There was a private family internment at Machpelah Cemetery in Lititz.

To celebrate her love of the family dogs, Zelda and Sabine, contributions may be made in Dottie’s memory to the Humane League of Lancaster County, 2195 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, PA 17602.