Mary P. “Patsy” Herman, a longtime Baltimore nurse whose career spanned more than 50 years, died Aug. 10 of uterine cancer at her Lake Walker home. She was 81.
“There was not a better person who walked the earth,” said Kathleen G. “Kitty” Oursler, a friend of 76 years. “She loved her Catholic faith and lived it. She was a true saint and quite a person.”
The daughter of Charles Lee, a stationary engineer at the Catholic Center, and Mary Lee, a pharmacy assistant, Mary Patricia Lee was born in Baltimore and raised on Highwood Drive in Lake Walker, where she spent the remainder of her life.
“We first met on the first day when we were in the first grade at St. Mary’s Govans parochial school. I was crying because I was homesick and missed my mother,” recalled Mrs. Oursler, who lives in Phoenix, Baltimore County.
“Patsy took my hand and assured me that ‘everything will be all right.’ She was very kind, and since that day, we’ve been best friends,” she said. “And I was with her when she died. She couldn’t talk, but knew I was there.”
After graduating in 1953 from Seton High School, Mrs. Herman studied nursing at the old South Baltimore General Hospital, now Harbor Hospital, which was then located on Light Street in Federal Hill.
“She never said she was a registered nurse, just a nurse,” said her daughter, Cynthia Lee “Cindy” Herman, who lived next door to her mother in Lake Walker.
She was a neonatal nurse at Harbor Hospital and then joined the staff of the Edgewood Nursing Home on East Belvedere Avenue in Homeland, where she worked as a geriatric nurse for 30 years.
After retiring in 1998, Mrs. Herman returned to nursing at the Presbyterian Home of Maryland in West Towson, where she cared for the elderly until she retired again in 2015, family members said.
“I would go down and visit her, and not long ago she said she told me how much she loved her career and work,” Mrs. Oursler said. “She loved it so much that she worked until she was 79.”
In 1962, she married Edward Jerome Herman, an electrical engineer, who died of melanoma in 1967.
“Patsy was widowed at an early age, and she raised her two children by herself,” Mrs. Oursler said. “They always came first, and she was always very proud of them.”
Mrs. Herman had been a lifelong active member of St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Govans, where she was also a member of the Catholic Daughters of America.
She was an avid collector of images of pigs — “porcelain, figurines or stuffed,” her daughter said.
Mrs. Herman also enjoyed duckpin bowling at Parkville Lanes on Harford Road.
“She and her mother would attend flea markets and yard sales, and they would make crafts such as trinkets and decorating straw hats,” Ms. Herman said.
For years, she enjoyed taking her children in Ocean City, where she owned property and had a mobile home. She also liked attending family reunions.
“She was loved by everybody,” her daughter said. “Those were the exact words that people told me.”
A Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday for Mrs. Herman at her church.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Edward Jerome “Jay” Herman of Annapolis; a sister, Janet C. Levy of Jacksonville, Fla.; and two grandchildren.