Salon 14

Mary Westerfeld Rakow

March 26, 1939 ~ December 10, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Mary Rakow Obituary

Mary Westerfeld Rakow of Silver Spring, MD, passed away peacefully in hospice on Sunday, December 10, 2023 at the age of 84. She was born in Oxford, England on March 26, 1939, to the late Wilfred and Hanorah (nee McElroy) Westerfeld, of Syracuse, NY. She is survived by her beloved husband Clarence Rakow; devoted daughter Sarah Rakow; brother William Westerfeld; stepsons Scott Rakow and spouse Leslie Ralston Rakow, and Glenn Rakow; as well as her cherished grandchildren.

Mary was a chemist, and worked in the field as a scientific editor for the American Chemical Society for many years. In addition, she was an educator and loved every grade she taught, from kindergarten to middle school, and then later working in the Philosophy Department at the Catholic University of America. But what she considered her most important and cherished career was being a devoted wife and mother.

She enjoyed spending time with her family at their house in Silver Spring, especially in the garden, but absolutely loved entertaining and hosting crab feasts for her friends and their families at their house on the Chesapeake Bay. Mary also believed in supporting her daughter's education, and volunteered her time and efforts writing and producing musicals for her daughter's school; she truly enjoyed interacting with all the girls who participated, and had a special way of showcasing each girl's talent.

She loved being with her close circle of friends, whether it be at book club, dinner parties, or school functions, but truly cherished being at home, selflessly caring for her family. 

A Memorial Mass will begin at 11am on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 10103 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Casey House for Hospice, or to the Parkinson Foundation (details below).

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Memorial Mass
December 19, 2023

11:00 AM
St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
10103 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20902


Casey House - Montgomery Hospice
1355 Piccard Drive, Suite 100, Rockville MD 20850
Tel: 1-301-921-4400

Parkinson Foundation
1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York NY 10018


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