Lynnda Lee Skinner Kratovil died on August 8th, 2020 in her home surrounded by family. She was 84.
She was born on October 2nd, 1935 at the Hospital for the Women of Maryland in Baltimore. She graduated from Towson High School in 1953, from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in 1957, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and was a member of the Tri-Beta Honorary Society. In 1958, she attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work on scholarship but soon left to marry Frank M. Kratovil who she had met on a blind date while attending Western Maryland College. The two were married in 1959 at the Olive Branch Church in Baltimore. In 1962, Lynnda attended Howard University School of Social Work on a full scholarship and received her Masters of Social Work in 1964.
Lynnda began her years of service as a counselor working with pregnant teenage girls for the Sonia Whipper Maternity Home in Washington DC. From 1966-1973, she began work at the Methodist Board of Child Care where she served as an adoption counselor to single parents and performed home studies. Starting in 1973, she became the Director of Social Services where she supervised social workers in the residential, foster care, and adoption program. In 1981, her portfolio expanded to include supervision of the management of an emergency shelter program, a program she developed. Her professional affiliations included serving as a field instructor for Western Maryland College social work interns and visiting lecturer for the Family Training Institute in Baltimore.
Lynnda was active in the Prince George’s County Mental Health Association where she served on the board for many years and in the College Park Business and Professional Women, where she held leadership positions, including serving on the board and as president. In her retired years, Lynnda was an active member of the Kent Island Federation of Art, the Queen Anne’s County Historical Society, where she regularly served at a docent in Old Stevensville and was a fixture at nearly every artistic, musical, charitable and social event on Kent Island and in the county.
Lynnda exuded warmth and a love of life. She had an abundance of friends, interests, and energy with a sense of adventure. Whether in her role as a social worker supervisor, friend, mother, or grandmother, Lynnda was always able to find interesting adventures. She took kids hardened from the child welfare system on ghost tours, where they were delighted and terrified; discovered local but off-the-beaten-path places with her children; traveled to Europe, North Africa, and Latin America with her friends; took her grandkids on special little adventures; and participated in somewhat unorthodox activities which they loved. Lynnda was always in the mood for a little road trip or a bigger adventure and was just fun to be around.
Lynnda was genuinely interested in everyone she met. She would frequently talk to strangers during her journeys. Whether traveling locally or afar, she would learn their stories not just because she loved to talk, but also because she was a great listener. Members of the family were accustomed to learning the life story of the waiter or waitress serving our table and we’re never surprised that Lynnda and her husband drove separately to events so that Lynnda could stay and talk all night. Lynnda got to know just about everybody she met and connected with them on a level that was always special.
Lynnda was a woman driven to have both a family and a professional career. She also had the courage to be eccentric: wearing flamboyant clothes and hats; smoking Tiparillo cigars; drinking sherry; and driving around in her convertible Porsche. She was a free spirit, fiercely independent and she did not accept the limitations imposed on women of her generation. She would tell her children how things had changed for women, recalling her outrage at having to obtain her husband’s approval for a credit card. She gracefully and rather strategically succeeded in exceeding traditional boundaries for women and living her life her way.
She is survived by her children, Terri Kratovil Meijer, Connie Kratovil-Lavelle, and Frank Michael Kratovil; their spouses Peter Meijer and Kimberly Kratovil and eight grandchildren – Frank, Jackson, Sean, Robert Cole, Sonja, Charlotte, Nate, and Ayden. Additionally, she is survived by many friends, including those from the Kingswood Association, BPW, Mental Health Association, book club, knitting club; Kent Island – art, historical and environmental societies.
We plan to have a Celebration of Life Event for Lynnda which will take place at a later date. In the meantime, please consider a donation to Compass Regional Hospice. (http://www.compassregionalhospice.org/)