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Mary T. “Terry” Goss; businesswoman, dies

Mary Goss was "the hardest worker our family ever knew," a sister says.
Mary Goss was "the hardest worker our family ever knew," a sister says.

Mary T. “Terry” Goss, a businesswoman whose interests ranged from owning a store to butchering meat and making and selling homemade fudge, died Feb. 12 from advanced dementia. The resident of Wilson Heights in Northeast Baltimore was 66.

Mary Teresa Goss, daughter of Francis Xavier Goss, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. electrician, and his wife, Mary Teresa Goss, a Hecht Co. department store sales associate, was born the oldest of seven in Baltimore and was raised on a small farm in Perry Hall.

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As a child, she taught herself to play the piano by ear and became an accomplished sketcher of flowers and wildlife, family members said.

When she was 16, she worked at Berg’s Farm Dairy on East Joppa Road in Perry Hall, which served burgers, fries, milkshakes and homemade ice cream, in addition to offering horse rides to interested patrons.

After graduating from Perry Hall Senior High School in 1971, she worked for Mercantile Bank before purchasing a small grocery store and delicatessen on Dale Avenue in Overlea when she was 22. In addition to being involved in all aspects of the business, and being an excellent cook and scratch baker, she developed an outside catering business.

After selling the business in 1980, she worked for a decade as a meat cutter at the old Pantry Pride grocery store, while continuing to operate her catering business part-time. She then worked as an executive secretary at Best Battery in Baltimore.

From 1998 to 2005, she owned and operated Tanny’s Fudge. Her homemade fudge was sold in local markets throughout Baltimore.

“If Terry didn’t know how to do something, she taught herself,” a sister, Gretchen Derewicz of Hunt Valley, wrote in a biographical profile of Ms. Goss. “In fact, she was a self-taught seamstress, making dresses and gowns for her sisters’ high school dances and social events.”

When spending time at a family cabin on the Susquehanna River when she was younger, Ms. Derewicz recalled, her sister water-skied “slalom-style” down the river.

Ms. Goss was an avid collector of 1960s and 1970s-era 45 rpm records, which she enjoyed listening and dancing to.

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“Terry had an intuitive knowledge of the rules of decorum and followed them effortlessly in a variety of situations,” Ms. Derewicz wrote. "She was an entrepreneur in every sense of the word, and the hardest worker our family ever knew."

Funeral services were held Feb. 18 at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home.

In addition to Ms. Derewicz, she is survived by two brothers, Eric Goss of Winters Run and Gregory Goss of New Park, Pennsylvania; three other sisters, Patricia Goss of Hunt Valley, Regina Goss of Perry Hall and Eileen McArdle of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

“She’s also survived by 53 nieces and nephews,” Ms. Derewicz said.

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