Mary Clare Langan was carried by angels into eternal life on Nov. 10, 2012. Born in Brooklyn N.Y., on June 14, 1935, Mary grew up in Pittsburgh Pa., Washington D.C. and Clearwater Fla., graduating from Clearwater High School in 1953 and Florida State University in 1957.
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For 9 years she worked in the fruit crops department at the University of Florida until her desire to explore the world sent her to Fairbanks, where she designed and built her log house while also working for the University of Alaska, helping for two years to build the Alaska pipeline and establishing the North Valley Editing Company.
A freelance writer and photographer, Mary's work was published in the Alaska Construction Magazine and the Alaska Industry Magazine as well as the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the Anchorage Times, The National Inquirer and the St. Petersburg Times.
As one of the early women journalists in Alaska, Mary rode the first truck of a caravan that traveled the ice road to the far north for oil exploration. For 42 years, she loved the winters and summers of Alaska.
During her years in Alaska, Mary was a member of the University of Alaska Women's Association, the Press Club, a founding member of the Alaskan Chapter of the National Organization of Women, and at one time part of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra.
For many years, she volunteered at the Fairbanks Hospital Day Care Center, was a substitute teacher for the North Star Borough School District and helped prisoners in the Fairbanks jail. She also conducted a workshop on starting a small business.
In 2009, Florida called Mary back to settle in Largo where she continued to write under the pen name of Pat/ Penny Parnell, while encouraging other writers at several writers groups in the area. "Unique" describes Mary, a free spirit of great imagination with a creative mind that was always looking to see the unusual side of ideas and problems.
Alaska's developing state and Mary's inquisitive and adventuring spirit brought her into contact with many Alaskans from all walks of life. She'll be remembered. Survivors include her sister, Kathleen Lefferson (Pete); nieces and nephews, Thomas Langan ( Melanie), Jane Langan, Mary Kathryn Lefferson, Anne Lefferson and Ed Lefferson.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Dec. 26, 2012, in Our Lady's Chapel at St. Jude the Apostle Cathedral, 5815 Fifth Ave. N. St., Petersburg, Fla.
Donations to the University of Alaska Foundation, 910 Yukon Dr Suite 206. P.O. Box755080, Fairbanks, AK 99775-5080 or to the
are most appreciated. There will also be a gathering of friends in Fairbanks. Contact Jackie or Anne for time and place.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Nov. 25, 2012