Mary Duff

Obituary of Mary Duff


Mary Isabelle (Langdon)


After a wonderful life of helping people in the Greater Pittsburgh area, Mary Isabelle (Langdon) Duff has ascended to heaven on Friday, October 5, 2018.  At 97 years and 10 months, she was the widow of Charles John Duff, a WWII Veteran.  Clear of mind and strong of heart, Mary’s body failed her during a brief illness. She is the granddaughter of Joseph A Langdon (Rebecca Orr) of the Mount Washington area of Pittsburgh and Thomas Maher (Margaret Isabelle Campbell) of Blairsville and Pittsburgh. She is the daughter of Thomas Wallace Langdon and Mary Constance Maher.  She was preceded in passing through the Pearly Gates by her brothers Joseph Maher Langdon and Thomas W Langdon.  She is survived by her brother William Maher Langdon (Gloria Santomenna) of Columbus, OH and all seven of her children: Rosemary Fahrenkrug of Washington state, Charles J Duff (Carolyn) of San Jose CA,  Mary Therese Hassell (Michael) of Mechanicsburg PA, James R Duff (Karen Lamey) of Hampton Township, PA, Barbara Renwick (Robert L) of Penn Hills, PA after many years in Ammissville, VA, David T Duff (Tamara Solt) of Atwood, PA after many years in Dauphin, PA, and Roberta Duff, who lived with Mary in Penn Hills after living in many locations with the US Government.  Mary is also survived by all 10 grandchildren: Charles A Duff serving in the US Army, Charlin Duff attending Humbolt State University in CA, Christopher Hassell of Dillsburg, PA, and Patricia Lipnicky (Michael) of Raccoon Township, Beaver County, PA, Jamie Duff attending Pitt, Robert Renwick and Terry Renwick both of Penn Hills, PA, James Duff of Austin, TX, Amanda Rosencrance (Joshua) of Dallas, TX, David Kennedy Duff of Sacramento, CA, one great grandchild Elle Lipnicky, and two step grandchildren Bryce and Mikala Rosencrance.  She is survived by many nieces, nephews, good friends, and longtime neighbors, and even a few classmates.  She is also survived by her multi-decade sweetheart John Madore, who she would telephone several times a day for the past 18 years.  He would attend events with her even in the days before her death.  Mary was an active alumnus ‘39 of Sacred Heart High School in Shadyside and Carlow University (formerly Mount Mercy College) Class of '43. She attended and was honored at her 75th Class Reunion at Carlow University in late September 2018.  At both high school and college she served as class president. She also attended Ursuline Academy for grade school.  She would lunch every few months with classmates from each group for decades.  Conneaut Lake was a special place for her.  She would spend summers at the lake with many of her cousins.  At Sacred Heart Church, with the financial help of her family, her class raised funds to purchase the cross that hangs in the church.  The accompanying photograph of St. Peter’s Basillica from the late 1930’s hangs in Mary’s living room.  Her paternal grandfather Joseph A. Langdon installed the boiler heating system in St. Mary of the Mount Church in Mount Washington, and donated a stained glass window.  On the evening before her 21st birthday the world was shocked with the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  During WWII, she contributed to the war effort as a food safety inspector, using the skills and knowledge gained from her Home Economic Major at Mount Mercy College to promote food safety.  After graduating in 1943, Mary worked for the Department of Agriculture inspecting food processors.  After the war she worked for Westinghouse demonstrating modern appliances like automatic washing machines. After her marriage at Sacred Heart Church in 1952 to Charles John Duff, a resident of Shadyside and a December 1941 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, she was a homemaker for 16 years, then worked with the PA Dept of Welfare in McKeesport for 15 years.  Mary has enjoyed 35 years of retirement.

Her Catholic faith has always been a great part of her life, which showed in her acts of charity and kindness. She would tell of teaching Sunday school in a rural town when a typhoid epidemic struck and she lost over half her students within two weeks.  She loved writing letters to friends, classmates and extended family and would always remember to send a note around your birthday, and at least once a year you could expect a thick envelope full of Xerox’s copies of letters, pictures and family news.  Friends received at McCabe Bros., Inc. Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut Street, Shadyside on Monday, 2-4 and 6-8 pm, with additional visitation on Tuesday from 9 am until Mass of Christian Burial in Sacred Heart Church at 10 am.  Interment to follow in Atwood Cemetery, Atwood, PA.  Condolences may be left at