Mary D. Hovanec, a retired Baltimore County librarian who was an active member of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, dies

Mary D. Hovanec was active in the League of Women Voters and volunteered at Roland Park Country School.
Mary D. Hovanec was active in the League of Women Voters and volunteered at Roland Park Country School.(handout/HANDOUT)

Mary D. Hovanec, who worked as a librarian for many years for the Baltimore County Public Library system and was an active communicant of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, died May 4 of the coronavirus at Arden Courts of Towson. The Stoneleigh resident was 84.

The former Mary Doyle, daughter of James J. Doyle, a Lever Bros. sales representative, and his wife, Veronica Doyle, a homemaker, was born and raised in Binghamton, New York.


She was a 1954 graduate of St. Patrick’s Academy in Binghamton, and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960 from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. She obtained her master’s degree in 1960 in library science from the Catholic University of America.

Mrs. Hovanec began working at the North Point branch of the Baltimore County Public Library in young adult services.


“I was working in library administration when I got to know Mary. I was coordinator of children’s services,” said Joan M. McInnes of York, Pennsylvania. “I was always struck by her genuine love of learning. She was just a terrific person who preferred working with the public.”

Barbara B. Elliott of Towson retired from the library system in the 1990s, where she had been director of technical services.

“She was very quiet and pleasant, and always had something nice to say,” Mrs. Elliott said. “She was the kind of person who always wanted to help.”

In 1968, she married Andrew S. Hovanec, a native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, who was a chemical engineer.

“We met in Baltimore at a Catholic Alumni Club social event,” Mr. Hovanec said. "It was at a dance."

After her marriage, Mrs. Hovanec left the library to raise her two children, and once they were grown, returned in 1988 as a part-time worker. When she retired in 2000, she had been working at the library system’s Rosedale branch.

A longtime Stoneleigh resident, Mrs. Hovanec had been active in the League of Women Voters and volunteered at Roland Park Country School. She also attended and occasionally taught courses at the Renaissance Institute at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

She had been an active member and communicant for 50 years of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Rodgers Forge, where she had served as a member of the parish council and made a monthly casserole for Our Daily Bread.

“She was on other committees and always volunteered for the church’s annual carnival,” her husband said.

“She was an avid reader and had read The Sun for more than 50 years from cover to cover. She also cherished the daily crossword puzzle,” said her daughter, Susan Hovanec of North Roland Park. “Mary had a lifelong love of music and enjoyed singing, attending Baltimore Symphony concerts, and musical theater.”

Said Mrs. McInnis: “She was just a sweetheart and I was always impressed by her many outside interests.”

In addition to reading, Mrs. Hovanec was accomplished at needlepoint.


A private service will be held at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Hovanec is survived by her son, John Hovanec of Rodgers Forge; two grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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