Mary Fleming Passano, 74, Waverly Press vice president

March 27, 2000|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

Mary Fleming Passano, who began her 38-year career at Waverly Press as a key punch operator and ended as vice president for administration, died of cancer yesterday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Baltimore County. She was 74.

Mary Troy was born in Baltimore, one of 15 children in a family that lived on East 20th Street.

While a student at Seton High School, she worked part time for Waverly Press, a Baltimore publishing company, and continued there after graduating and after the birth of her seven children, said her son Dominic J. Fleming Jr. of Baltimore.

Mrs. Passano was one of the early female supervisors at the publishing company.

"She never thought she was discriminated against, but she probably wasn't paid as much as some of the executives," said her daughter Dorothy F. Sheppard of Baltimore.

Five of Mrs. Passano's sisters also worked at Waverly.

She married Dominic J. Fleming, a lawyer, in 1950. They raised their family in Belair-Edison in Northeast Baltimore. Mr. Fleming died in 1977.

Shortly after she retired in 1982, she married Edward M. Passano.

Mr. Passano, who died two years ago at age 93, was president of Waverly Press from 1950 until 1971, and served on the board of the publishing firm until his death.

Waverly was acquired in 1998 by a Dutch company and is part of a new Philadelphia-based firm, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

The couple lived in the Carrollton in the Johns Hopkins University area of North Baltimore, where they were active in forming Bunting Meyerhoff Interfaith Center.

Mrs. Passano, a devout Roman Catholic, was a communicant of Most Precious Blood Church and most recently of St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

She served on the board of Junior Achievement and was a longtime volunteer at Union Memorial Hospital. She also conducted tours of Homewood House on Hopkins' Homewood campus.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Community of Most Precious Blood, 5010 Bowleys Lane.

She was preceded in death by two children, Douglas Daniel Fleming and Dennis Brian Fleming.

Mrs. Passano also is survived by two other daughters, Letitia A. Moore and Donna M. Hines; another son, D. David Fleming; and stepson, E. Magruder Passano, all of Baltimore; six brothers, Thomas Troy, Peter Troy, Edmund Troy, Joseph Troy and George Troy, all of Baltimore, and Jerome Troy of Fairfield Glade, Tenn.; six sisters, Anne Macatee, Elizabeth Kelleher, Catherine Hewell, Margie Beaudreault, Carolyn Donohue and Patricia Chalfont, all of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.

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