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Mary D. Long, former lab technician and seamstress, dies

Mary D. Long was a retired supervisor in the medical laboratory at Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center.
Mary D. Long was a retired supervisor in the medical laboratory at Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center. (Handout)

Mary D. Long, a former laboratory technician and an accomplished seamstress, died March 4 of a heart attack at her Northwest Baltimore home. She was 95.

The former Mary Davis, daughter of Robert Davis and his wife, Mabel Davis, was born in Sparrows Point and raised in East Baltimore, where she graduated in 1943 from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

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After leaving high school, she moved to Philadelphia, where she attended Franklin School of Science and Arts and graduated as a laboratory technician. She went to work in the medical laboratory of the Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center, where she rose to become supervisor. She also was a part-time nurse’s aide at Girls High School, also in Philadelphia. She lived in the northeast part of the city.

After retiring in 1998, Mrs. Long returned to Baltimore to be near her family.

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Mrs. Long learned to sew at an early age and she enjoyed making clothes for her nieces, nephews, their children, and other family members. When living in Philadelphia, she crocheted hats and scarves for sailors and created custom-made men’s suits, women’s dresses and hats.

Seven years ago, Mrs. Long sewed 46 dresses for little girls who were planning a missionary trip to Nigeria that was ultimately canceled because of an outbreak of the Ebola virus in that country.

Known as Aunt Mary, family members said, Mrs. Long was a world traveler who had enjoyed trips to London, Italy, Paris, Bermuda, Jamaica, St. Martin’s and Las Vegas. She was a gifted conversationalist who was well-versed in sports, history and politics, and “could speak on any topic,” family members said.

She liked attending family reunions, and playing the lottery and slot machines. A supporter of education, she urged her nieces and nephews to get the best education possible. For family birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Valentine’s Day and other special occasions, she was known for commemorating the day with a gift of $2 bills.

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Mrs. Long had been an active communicant of St. Mark’s on the Hill Episcopal Church in Pikesville, where she established the Mary Davis Long Scholarship Fund.

Funeral services were held Friday at her church.

Mrs. Long is survived by a special niece, Alena Givens, of Elkton, and many other nieces and nephews. Her marriage to Pete Long ended in divorce.

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