Mary D. McCormick, 101, pianist at church, schools

January 26, 2000|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Mary D. McCormick, who played piano at University Baptist Church and also at area schools and nursing homes for more than 60 years, died in her sleep Jan. 19 at Roland Park Place. She was 101.

Until turning 99, Mrs. McCormick, known as "Mary Piano," played for Evensong at Roland Park Place, where she lived since moving from her University Parkway home in 1992.

After joining University Baptist Church in 1932, Mrs. McCormick became the church's pianist, playing for the Sunday school, Woman's Missionary Union and weekly Wednesday night programs.

She also sang with the choir, taught Sunday school and was on the board of Baptist Children's Aid, now Baptist Family and Children's Services.

Until retiring in 1997, she had played for 50 years at weekly meetings of the Bible Club at Keswick Multi-Care in Roland Park.

"She would leave her nursing home to go play at another nursing home where she was older than all of the residents," said Alice Lee, a granddaughter in Ocean Ridge, Fla., with a chuckle.

She also was an accompanist at area schools and played for inmates at the Baltimore City Detention Center,said family members.

"She was a lady of great dignity, charm and spiritual serenity. She was an absolutely lovely person," said Richard L. Goodbar of Lutherville, a longtime friend and member of University Baptist Church.

Goodbar said, "She was always willing to step in and play at a moment's notice."

Mrs. McCormick quit driving at 93, neither smoked nor drank, enjoyed walking and ate in moderation. Born Mary Dove, she was raised on Bloom Street, south of Druid Hill Park. She graduated from Western High School and Mary Baldwin Junior College, now Mary Baldwin College, in Staunton, Va.

She studied piano in 1918 at Peabody Conservatory of Music, where a practice room is named in her honor.

She was married in 1919 to Hugh P. McCormick Sr., vice president of McCormick & Co., who died in 1936.

Through the years, Mrs. McCormick actively supported the Baptist Home of Maryland and Delaware, the Billy Graham Crusade, Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., Woodbourne Center, the Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Peabody Conservatory.

She was a member of the Woman's Club of Roland Park.

Services for Mrs. McCormick will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at University Baptist Church, 3501 N. Charles St.

She is survived by a son, Hugh P. McCormick Jr. of Lutherville; four other grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

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