Mary J. Della Toffalo

JAN. 9, 1927-JUNE 22, 2011

June 24, 2011
  • Della Toffalo
Submitted Photo

The Lord our Savior has called Mary Jane Adams Hurbanis Della Toffalo, our dear mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, and friend home to dwell in His house.

She died on Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at Johns Hopkins Bayview ICU surrounded by her loving family.

Born Jan. 9, 1927, in Halfway, Md., she was the daughter of the late Nellie M. Morningstar Adams and Marion E. Adams.

She was the wife of Paul Hurbanis, whom she married in 1947. Paul preceded her in death in 1971. She was then preceded in death by her second husband of 17 years, Dominick Della Toffalo.

Mary had a life well lived. She was a 1945 graduate of Hagerstown High School. After graduation, she attended nursing school. Later, Mary Jane furthered her education at Hagerstown Junior College and Baltimore City Community College.

She had a variety of jobs which had begun when she was 14 years old working at McCrory's store. During her summers with her grandparents in Buckeystown, Md., she would work in the canning factory. While in her early adult life, Mary worked at The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown. Additionally, while in Chicago, Ill., she worked at a bank and a Sears Department Store.

Then, throughout her midlife she worked as a line cook at Howard Johnson, an assistant nurse, and finally her niche as Activities Director at Avalon Manor Nursing Home.

We thank Mother for showing us a path of service. Mary had a Life Membership with the Maryland Congress of Parents & Teachers. While active, she served as president two years, vice president three years, secretary three years, and treasurer two years. She was a past president, vice president and Lifetime Member of Ladies of the Elks No. 378. She was a member of both the American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 42 Maryland Chapter and the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary R.S. Togg Jr. No. 14.

Mary was an AARP National Member and was an AARP Chapter No. 623 member. She served as president (two years), vice president (three years), secretary (three years) and assistant treasurer (one year).

Mary was a founding member, representing AARP, and served as the first president of Washington County's S.A.L.T. (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) in 1997, which was an arm of TRIAD. She became their coordinator for special events. She also helped develop the emergency medical cards and their distribution for seniors, and the TRIAD/SALT Senior visits to nursing homes to check on conditions. In 1996, she was made an honorary member of the Maryland Sheriffs' Institute.

Mary's faith was a source of her strength. While living in Chicago, she and Paul had started their family as well as being founding members of Faith Lutheran Church for 11 years. Mary was a lifetime member and frequent Sunday school teacher at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, Md.

She is survived by three daughters, Dr. Brenda L. Hurbanis, and partner Kathie Zink, Ellicott City, Md., Paula Hurbanis Leaf and husband, Frank A. Leaf, P.E., Hagerstown, and Anna Marie Hurbanis Nusca and husband, Dr. Michael Nusca, Abingdon, Md.; stepson, Anthony Della Toffalo and wife, Jan, of Butler, Pa.; a sister and a brother-in-law, Martha and Charles Gossard, Halfway; four grandchildren; Tasha Leaf Brown and husband, Dwight, Frederick, Md., Justin Pavel Leaf, Minneapolis, Minn., Jessica Leaf Cooley and husband, Justin, Fort Gordon, Ga., and Benjamin Michael Nusca, Abingdon; two stepgrandchildren; Dr. Douglas Della Toffalo, and wife, Susan, Harmony, Pa., and Dr. Deanne Freehling and husband, Todd, Prospect, Pa.; four great-grandchildren, Jordan Brown, and Jadyn, Jurnee, and Jocelyn Cooley; five stepgreat-grandchildren, Cara and Laurel Della Toffalo, and Dylan, Cody, and Wade Freehling. Mary Jane also leaves a special companion, Stanley Gossard of Waynesboro, Pa., as well as dear nieces, nephews, and friends.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, 2011, at Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home in Hagerstown. The funeral will be held on Monday, June 27, 2011, at St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church at 11 a.m. with a viewing before at the church beginning at 10 a.m. Following a reception at the church there will be a 2:30 p.m., interment at Greenlawn Cemetery in Williamsport, Md.

Memorial contributions in her name may be made to St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 601 Washington Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

Online condolences may be made to

Please note: While Mother was here, she danced!

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