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Mary Helen Conover, the area businesswoman who founded MHC Appraisals LLC, died on Monday, September 2, 2019, at Golden Crest Assisted Living. She was surrounded by family and friends. A lifelong Carroll County resident, Mary Helen was 91-years old.
Born in Sam’s Creek, Maryland, on January 4, 1928, Mary Helen was the youngest child of Esther (Hooper) and Hanson Franklin. She often told stories of her childhood on the family farm that belonged to her great-aunts Irene, Lucinda and Sally Hooper. Mary Helen is predeceased by both of her beloved siblings Margaret (Franklin) Reynolds and Roy Franklin. She attended Hooper’s Delight one-room schoolhouse, located on her family farm, for grades one through eight, and graduated in 1945 from New Windsor High School. She played high school basketball and appeared in productions.
Mary Helen married Harold Martin Conover of Westminster in 1948.
Known as a hard worker, Mary Helen’s long career in business continued until her death on Monday. Prior to MHC Appraisals LLC, she was a part owner of T.R. O’Farrell, Inc., where she had worked and managed the company’s insurance, real estate, appraising and auctioneering endeavors for more than fifty years. She also helped manage Windy Hills Thoroughbred Horse Farm, where Kentucky Derby winner Count Turf stood stud. She was one of the founders of National Horse Sales, for which she served as secretary-treasurer. Mary Helen managed the successful Maryland Legislative campaigns for the late Sen. Thomas R. O’Farrell, Sr. Mary Helen’s professional career began days after her high school graduation when she went to work for BG&E in Baltimore. She worked for a variety of businesses but one of her favorite positions was the ten years she spent in Cedar Hurst Distillery. Throughout her career, she prided herself on working with the children and grandchildren of her original clients.
An avid traveler, Mary Helen frequently treated her family and friends to wild cross-country adventures, including hot air ballooning, white water rafting, helicopter journeys, and off-road adventures. Her passions included antiques and farmland.
Mary Helen was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the historic Bethany Cemetery, Inc. She was a member of many organizations, including Westminster United Methodist Church and Carroll County Historical Society.
Mary Helen was predeceased by her husband Harold in 1997. She is survived by son Michael Conover of Westminster; daughter Susan Conover Marinello and son-in-law Jim Marinello of Montville, NJ; granddaughter Katie Marinello of Westminster; granddaughter Claire Fisher and grandson-in-law Bryan Fisher of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ; as well as many close nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Memorial donations may be made to Bethany Cemetery, Inc., P.O. Box 1312, Westminster, MD 21158.
The family will receive visitors on Friday, September 6, 2019 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Fletcher Funeral & Cremation Services, 254 E. Main St., Westminster.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Mary Helen will be laid to rest at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, 2800 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg, MD 21048.