Mary Pat Lennon

N.C.-born social worker who specialized in child development and family therapy worked for hospitals and in private practice

January 11, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Mary Pat Lennon, a retired social worker who specialized in child development and family therapy, died of glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, Dec. 31 at her Homeland residence. She was 59.

Born and raised in Lumberton, N.C., Ms. Lennon was a 1968 graduate of Lumberton High School.

After earning a bachelor's degree in psychology from Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1972, she moved to Washington and joined the staff of Maine Sen. William S. Cohen, and later worked for U.S. News and World Report.

She then entered Catholic University of America in Washington, where she earned a master's degree in social work in 1978.

Ms. Lennon worked as a social worker at Sibley Hospital in Washington for two years before joining the bone marrow transplant unit at Duke University Hospital.

Later, she took a job as a social worker in the children's inpatient psychiatric unit at Duke, where she interacted with patients and their families.

"She acquired skill in family therapy as well as individual counseling of children and young adults," said her husband of 19 years, Dr. William Herzog, an interventional cardiologist who is chief of cardiology at Sinai Hospital.

The couple met in 1984, while Dr. Herzog was completing his residency at Duke, and they were married in 1989.

"I first got to know Pat when she came to work for me at the Duke Cancer Center, and then our paths intersected years later in Baltimore," said Bev Rosen, a social worker, who is now president of Wellness at Work, a Lutherville workplace training and consulting firm. "Our husbands worked together, and then we began socializing."

Recalling Ms. Lennon's days at Duke, Ms. Rosen said that her friend was "well-liked by all the physicians, and the staff and patients adored her."

Ms. Rosen added: "She was always optimistic and kept the patients going with that easygoing Lumberton style of hers, which was so effective and kind. Pat touched so many lives."

After several years, Ms. Lennon left Duke and maintained a private outpatient practice in the Raleigh-Durham area.

In 1989, the couple moved to Bethesda and Ms. Lennon worked at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington until the birth of her first child.

Moving to Baltimore in 1991, Ms. Lennon stopped practicing and concentrated on raising her family while still maintaining an interest in child development.

She returned to private practice in 2004 and continued working until 2007, when her brain tumor was diagnosed.

For many years, Ms. Lennon was on the board of the Montessori School in Lutherville.

"The cancer support group at Duke was named 'Make Today Count,' and I think Pat exemplified that," Ms. Rosen said yesterday. "She made every day count and stayed, until the end, in her home."

Ms. Lennon was an avid reader and enjoyed summer vacations at White Lake, N.C., where she liked water skiing, boating and gathering blueberries, her husband said.

"Mary Pat also placed a high value on friendship," Dr. Herzog said. "She was a loyal friend who worked hard to maintain friendships over many years, despite geographical obstacles."

Services were held yesterday at Friends School.

Also surviving are two sons, Kurt Patterson Herzog, a Friends School student, and John Carroll Herzog, who attended Gilman School; a daughter, Elizabeth Campbell Herzog, a Friends School student; and a brother, John Marion Lennon of Fayetteville, N.C.

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