Mary E. Mormann, a homemaker who worked in her husband's antiques business, died Sunday of complications from heart disease and diabetes at St. Joachim House in Southwest Baltimore. She was 88.
The daughter of farmers, Mary Ellen Towler was born in Java, Va., where she spent her early years. She was attending grade school in Chatham, Va., when she withdrew and went to work as a nanny for her teacher, family members said.
When she was in her teens, she moved to Baltimore with her teacher's family. During World War II, she was a Red Cross volunteer at Fort Howard and worked at the May Co. as a sales associate.
During the 1960s, she worked as an administrative assistant for the Maryland State Police at its Pikesville headquarters.
In 1947, she married Fletcher Mormann, a cabinetmaker and antiques restorer who owned and operated F.C. Mormann & Sons in Arlington, Va.
"She worked in the business stripping furniture and helping him repair and sell antiques," said her son, Stephen W. Mormann of Columbia.
Her husband died in 2003.
Mrs. Mormann was an accomplished seamstress, crocheter, quilter, basket weaver and canner. She also did gold leafing and caning and rushing chair seats.
When Mrs. Mormann was 55, she returned to school and earned her General Education Development certificate.
She was a "devotee of schooling," said her daughter, Lynne M.P. Rittenberg of Annapolis. "She steered her two children to college and graduate degrees."
Mrs. Mormann, who had lived in Westminster for the last decade and earlier in Towson, was a longtime member of Arlington United Methodist Church, where she helped prepare church suppers.
She was a "charming storyteller," said her daughter, who added that her mother liked driving, especially along Skyline Drive in Virginia.
When she was 85, Mrs. Mormann became a participant in an eye study at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
"It's so important to give — they're helping — but I'm helping humanity, too," Mrs. Mormann told family and friends.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Fletcher Funeral Home, 254 E. Main St., Westminster.
In addition to her two children, Mrs. Mormann is survived by two grandsons.