Doris F. Gary, 69, supporter of Save-A-Heart Foundation

August 28, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Doris Faye Gary, executive secretary and board member of the Save-A-Heart Foundation, died Aug. 21 at her Pikesville residence of cancer. She was 69.

Mrs. Gary joined the Baltimorefoundation 20 years ago and for more than 15 years helped organize its celebrity golf tournaments and other fund-raisers.

"She was a wonderful person and put her heart into her work," said Sylvia F. Dantzic, the organization's public relations director, who praised her "energizing spirit."

"She was a good ambassador for Save-A-Heart and was never too busy to help whether it was an organization or a person in need," Mrs. Dantzic said.

Armed with a sense of humor and a spirited demeanor, it wasn't unusual for Mrs. Gary to get on the phone and personally sell tickets to Save-A-Heart's fund-raisers at the Lyric Theatre and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

"We used to call her the Save-A-Heart box office," said Mrs. Dantzic. "She knew where all the best seats were in the theaters and wasn't above giving that advice to callers."

She remembered Mrs. Gary as "always having a smile on her face and a joke on her lips."

Mrs. Gary was given a gold watch in recognition of her work at Save-A-Heart's June 22 fund-raiser at the Meyerhoff.

At her funeral Aug. 22, Philip Willen, president of Save-A-Heart, said, "It's ironic how sometimes life places certain individuals in the right places for their life's work . She had a heart of gold.

"Doris Gary used her considerable talents and skills to make life better for those who crossed her path."

Said Ellensue Levinson, a 21-year member of Save-A-Heart, "Doris was probably the backbone of a lot of the work that got done there. She was truly remarkable."

The former Doris F. Gudis was born in Baltimore and was a 1944 graduate of Forest Park High School. She met her husband, Melvin H. Gary, at a USO dance during World War II. They married in 1948.

Her illness was discovered more than six years ago and Mrs. Gary refused to surrender to it, insisting on visiting England this summer.

"Her greatest hobby -- in addition to her work -- was her children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews, who affectionately called her 'Aunt Dotsy,' " said Mr. Gary.

Mrs. Gary was a member of the Adathyeshurun Synagogue in Pikesville.

Other survivors include a son, Alan Goldberg of Owings Mills; two daughters, Arlene Linkous of Baltimore and Iris Estep of Manchester, Pa.; two sisters, Rena Simon of Randallstown and Bessie Stein of Columbus, Ohio; and four grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Save-A-Heart Foundation Inc., 302 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore 21208.

Pub Date: 8/28/96

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