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Mary Ann Welzant, nurse and instructor, dies

Mary Ann Welzant was a nurse who also taught nursing at Towson University.
Mary Ann Welzant was a nurse who also taught nursing at Towson University. (HANDOUT)

Mary Ann Welzant, a nurse who also taught nursing at Towson University, died of cancer Nov. 3 at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.

The Timonium resident was 78.

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Born in Rock Island, Ill., and raised in Washington, Mary Ann Devine was the daughter of Thomas A. Devine, assistant director of the American Red Cross, and Julia Toomey.

She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Catholic University of America.

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She met her future husband, Dr. Walter Welzant, a Baltimore internist, at a social event at the Belvedere Hotel.

She was a surgical nurse at Georgetown University Hospital before she joined Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was a nurse in the 1960s.

Mrs. Welzant believed in the benefits of music therapy. She studied piano at Peabody Preparatory School and earned a master's degree in psychology at Towson University.

She was a nurse and case manager at the Sheppard Pratt Health System's Geriatric Day Hospital in the mid-1990s.

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"She was compassionate, caring and committed to providing the best care possible for our patients," said a colleague, Seanne Bailey, director of the Adult Disorders Day Hospital at Sheppard Pratt. "But equally as important, she brought an essence of joy, as well as her own marvelous, contagious sense of humor to all of us with whom she worked, as well as to the patients we treated."

Ms. Bailey said that after Mrs. Welzant left her position, she returned to volunteer at the geriatric inpatient unit. She played piano and was frequently accompanied by a granddaughter, Julia Smouse, in reminiscence therapy.

Mrs. Welzant also volunteered as a music therapist at Stella Maris Hospice, College Manor, Keswick Multi-Care Center and Brightwood.

Nearly a decade ago, she became an adjunct faculty member at Towson University and was a clinical instructor.

"She was an excellent teacher and had a great style about her," said a Towson University colleague, Lori Geier. "She was invested and committed to teaching students about mental health. She had a smile on her face, and her teaching kept her young."

Mrs. Welzant was a past chair of the Maryland Chapter of the Right to Life March. She coordinated and organized the participation of parishes, schools and groups in the annual event on the Mall in Washington.

A memorial Mass will be offered at noon Saturday at St. Pius Roman Catholic Church, 6428 York Road.

Survivors include three sons, Philip Welzant of Gambrills, Steven Welzant of Jarrettsville and Thomas Welzant of Timonium; a daughter, Anne Marie W. Smouse of Jacksonville; and six grandchildren. Her husband of 53 years died this year.

—Jacques Kelly

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