Katherine (Warfield) Black Rinehart, 89

August 06, 2011
  • Katherine (Warfield) Black Rinehart
Katherine (Warfield) Black Rinehart

Katherine (Warfield) Black Rinehart — a Maryland Republican Party leader and dedicated advocate of women’s rights — died June 21 in Virginia Beach, Va. She was 89.

A political activist, Katherine Rinehart fought for the rights of women, minorities, and those who were challenged or disadvantaged. She was active in the civil rights battles, participating in marches and dealing with incidents of job discrimination.

Born in Baltimore, Md., and raised in Ardmore, Pa., Katherine (Kitty) Warfield Black graduated from Haverford High School. She subsequently attended and graduated from Randolph Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, Va., with a major in political science and a minor in sociology in 1943. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi and the Tau Kappa Alpha honorary forensic fraternity. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she pursued graduate work at Johns Hopkins University with a fellowship in political science.

She had an illustrious record of service with the Maryland Republican Party. For nearly 30 years, she served in nearly every possible job in the party from precinct worker, to president of the Maryland Federation of Republican Women, and later to become the Republican National Committee Woman for Maryland and a delegate to the GOP Conventions in 1964 and 1968. She was a member of the platform committee and a speaker at the 1964 convention. During these years, she volunteered as a lobbyist for Maryland Mental Health and the Maryland Association for Retarded Citizens. Of particular note, Kitty Rinehart was a major contributor and coordinator during the Congressional and Senatorial campaigns of the late Charles “Mac” Mathias, J. Glenn Beall, J. Glenn Beall Jr., and Gilbert Gude and the gubernatorial campaign of Spiro Agnew.

Professionally, Kitty Rinehart was an administrative aide for the mayor of Baltimore, the Honorable Theodore R. McKeldin, and later for a Renegotiation Board member on the federal level. She received numerous political appointments to include membership on the Baltimore City Community Relations Commission by Mayor McKeldin from 1963 to 1965; Chairman of the Maryland Commission on the Status of Women by Governor Agnew from 1968 to 1969; a member of the President’s Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities appointed by President Nixon in 1969; and a member of the Committee on Confidentiality and Privacy of the Census by Secretary of Commerce Peterson from 1972 to 1974.

She considered it a responsibility to give back to the institutions that gave so much to her. In particular, she was dedicated to the Randolph-Macon Women’s College. She served as the co-chair of R-MWC Philadelphia Development Fund, vice president for the Philadelphia chapter of the Alumnae Association, president of the Baltimore Chapter of the Alumnae Association; a class secretary, a Reunion giving leader, and as Class of 1943 class agent. She was a generous donor to the college over the years and her gifts have helped countless students fulfill their dreams. As a result of her service to the college, she was presented the “Vita Abundantior Award,” one of only 11 recipients. Kitty Rinehart applied the same energy to her sorority at Randolph-Macon Women’s College, Pi Beta Phi. She was president of the Virginia Alpha chapter and won the highest national award for an individual, the ABO, in 1943. She served as a Pi Phi Province president from 1960 through 1967.

For many years, she was an active member of the congregation at the University Baptist Church in Baltimore. She also regularly attended the First Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, Va.

She was married to the late Dr. George Y. Massenburg Jr. and later in life, to the late Mr. D. Eldred Rinehart of Smithsburg, Md. She lived many years in the Homeland community of Baltimore; then at Glen Afton Farm in Smithsburg, and later at Marco Island, Fla. She spent many of her summers at Sherwood Forest, Md. In her later years, she was blessed with the company of Capt. Steven T. Delamater, USN (Ret) of Virginia Beach, a man that she had known in her youth during summers at Sherwood Forest, who found her late in life and became her constant companion. Her last residence was at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community in Virginia Beach.

More important, she was a dedicated mother, raising two sons, George Y. Massenburg III, a Grammy Award-winning record producer/engineer and educator; and Vice Admiral Walter B. Massenburg, USN (Ret), a former Commander of the Naval Air Systems Command. She was blessed with five grandsons, and two great-grandsons. Her sister, Mrs. Margaret Ann Black Ulle; and her brother, the Honorable Walter E. Black Jr., former Chief Judge of the Federal District Court in Baltimore, also survive her.

A memorial service will be offered at the University Baptist Church, 3501 N. Charles St., Baltimore, at 11 a.m. on Aug. 13, 2011. Internment will follow at the Cherry Grove Cemetery in Florence, Howard County, Md.

Arrangements are by Altmeyer Funeral Home Inc. in Virginia Beach.

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