Martha Healy

Martha Healy ( / August 3, 2012)

Martha Ida Healy, the first woman to be named a trust officer at the old Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co. 50 years ago, died of cancer Wednesday at her Glyndon home. She was 95.

Born in Glyndon, she was the daughter of Robert J. Healy, an accountant who was treasurer of the Hotel Belvedere, and Ida Dexter Fairbank, a Glyndon civic leader.

She attended a two-room Baltimore County public school and was a 1936 graduate of Franklin High School, where she was first in her class and was her class vice president. She played basketball and other sports. She was also yearbook editor.

Miss Healy also delivered a class speech at graduation exercises at the Emory Grove Tabernacle.

While a student at Hood College, she received a medal from the French government in a competition it held. She was active in student government and earned a degree in mathematics. She also finished first in her class.

Miss Healy then took a job in downtown Baltimore and commuted to her office at the Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. on the old Western Maryland Railway, which had a station in Glyndon. She worked for an investment counselor until 1961, when she joined Mercantile-Safe Deposit, a conservative Baltimore financial institution at 13 South St. that controlled large amounts of inherited wealth of Baltimore. She was initially an estate planner.

At a Mercantile board of directors meeting in December 1964, she was named a trust officer, "the first woman to be elected to this post at Mercantile," The Sun reported.

"Martha was meticulous. She was an expert at proofreading a document," said Towson attorney William F. Blue, who worked in an office adjacent to hers at Mercantile. "She knew her stuff and worked at the bank when all the other women were secretaries. She developed quite a following. She was quite a good trust officer, and was always pleasant and upbeat."

She held the position until she retired about 25 years ago. She was a member of the National Association of Bank Women and represented her firm at annual conventions.

"She was a lifelong reader and often read two books at once. She called one her upstairs book and the other her downstairs book," said her sister, Eleanor Healy Taylor, also a Glyndon resident. "On New Year's Day, she continued her parents' tradition with a seated dinner for 35."

Her sister said she also observed traditions for the Fourth of July, hosting a picnic and standing in her front yard ringing a bell as a small Glyndon community parade passed.

Miss Healy continued to reside in the home her parents acquired in 1919. She was an active member of Historic Glyndon Inc. and would appear at events attired in Victorian garb. She also belonged to the Glyndon Community Association.

"She was always an extremely positive person," said a niece, Marti B. Clements of Glyndon. "She would come down the front hall steps and say, 'Look at this beautiful day.' She collected friends easily. They ranged from children to persons her own age."

Another niece, Nan Kaestner, also of Glyndon, said she played tennis throughout her life and was a fast walker on her three-mile loops throughout the neighborhood, often waving to residents.

"Children loved her. She would invite my daughters for an overnight of 'Camp Surprise' and have games of flashlight tag. There would be sparklers, too," Mrs. Kaestner said.

A great-nephew, Rob Clements of Baltimore, said, "She was always taking on a new challenge. She loved life. I spent time with her as she went on her adventures, walking up the railroad tracks or going through the woods. She was highly revered in the Glyndon community."

Miss Healy was also an official of the Hood College Club of Baltimore.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Glyndon United Methodist Church, 4713 Butler Road in Glyndon.

Survivors include other nieces and a nephew.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com