Beverly Michael Close, age 94, a long-time resident of Harford County, Maryland, died Sunday, November 29, 2020, at the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson, Maryland, where she lived since 2006. Born in Baltimore at the former Church Home Hospital in 1926, Mrs. Close grew up in Aberdeen at her family home, Horner's Point, on Swan Creek. She was the daughter of J. Smith Michael and H. Beatrice Pusey Michael. She attended local elementary public schools and graduated high school from the former girls boarding school, the Hannah Moore School in Reisterstown.
The Michaels were a significant agricultural family in Harford County for generations beginning in the 1750s. After generations of farming, in 1881 Mrs. Close's grandfather, John M. Michael, established a successful canning business known as the J. M. Michael Canning Company, which canned and distributed award-winning shoe peg sweet corn. During World War II most of the family's farmland was purchased by the US Government for expansion of the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.
As a young woman, Mrs. Close traveled extensively to Europe and sailed the Inland Waterway to Florida on the family's yacht, The Southwind. She was active in various clubs and organizations including the Evergreen Garden Club of Harford County, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Churchville and The Maryland Golf and Country Club, of which she was a charter member. She was an avid bridge player and was devoted to golf, which she learned to play in her thirties and continued to play regularly for several decades.
In 1969 Mrs. Close married Stevenson W. Close, Sr., a widower with three children. They resided at Cool Branch Farm in Churchville until they sold it in 1979 and moved to the Leeswoods development in Bel Air. In addition to running a dairy cattle farm at Cool Branch for many years, Mr. Close was a real estate agent with Harry Hopkins Real Estate Company for twenty-five years. He died in 1998. During their marriage they enjoyed traveling and family gatherings. Mrs. Close enjoyed cooking, and the couple formed a "Gourmet Club" with eight other local couples, all good friends, who dined together for seventeen years.
Mrs. Close was a warm, gracious lady, who was welcoming, kind and sincere in all of her interactions. She loved Maryland, especially Harford County. She referred to her family's land as "down home" and had many fond memories of her early years there.
Mrs. Close's survivors include her three step-children, Sarah Close Everett of Seymour, Texas, Stevenson W. Close, Jr. (Lisa) of Wilmington, Delaware, and Charles Michael Close (Jean) of Towson, Maryland; nephews Frank S. Smith of Asheville, North Carolina, and John M. Michael of Florida; and niece, Bee Smith Maybank of Dalton, Georgia. Step-grandchildren include Charles Everett, Rachel Everett, Charlotte E. Willden, Emily C. Hubbard, Ariel C. Gruswitz, Sara Close and Alexander Close. Mrs. Close also had nine great grandchildren. Also surviving are many loving nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by, sister Beatrice Michael Smith and brother J. Calvin Michael.
A future celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name may be made to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, PO Box 25, Churchville, Maryland 21028.