Mary Rackensperger, 89

Registered nurse

April 26, 2007

Mary E. Rackensperger, a retired registered nurse, died of Alzheimer's disease April 18 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Hamilton resident was 89.

Born Mary Elizabeth Ferri in Smethport, Pa., and raised in Kane, Pa., she was a graduate of the Bradford Hospital Nursing School and moved to Baltimore in 1947, where she worked as a nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital and served briefly at George Washington University Medical Center.

She retired in 1984 from Sinai Hospital, where she had been on the nursing staff for 30 years.

"When she left a room, the patient was smiling and happy, and the room sparkled," said Eudice Lowenthal, president of the Sinai Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association. "She was truly a professional nurse, with an immaculate cap, white shoes and uniform."

Mrs. Rackensperger was an accomplished cook and prided herself on her daily meals, family members said.

"There was always a full-course hot meal on the table every day," said a daughter, Nancy Beth Grimm of Towson.

A funeral Mass was offered Saturday at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Overlea.

Survivors also include two other daughters, Terri Ann Tartal of Baltimore and Susan Clare Rackson of Timonium; a sister, Anna Miller of White Oak, Texas; and five grandchildren. Her husband of 53 years. Paul Rackensperger, died in 2002.

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