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Mary Fay Ayers

Mary Fay Ayers

May 11, 1938 - Aug 4, 2023

Mary Fay Ayers - Obituary


ary Fay Ayers (nee Gentile), age 85, an eight-year resident of Venice, FL and previously of Edgewater, MD, died August 4, 2023 in Annapolis after an 11 month battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of leukemia. Born in Washington, DC on May 11, 1938 to the late Charles A. and Martha King Gentile, she was a 1956 graduate of Northwestern High School who later earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland. She worked for many years as a real estate investor, where she was the co-founder of the Prince Georges Property Owners Association. Along with her twin sister, Martha Kay Dunn, they were very popular with a wide range of friends growing up in College Park, MD in the 1940’s and 50’s. Together they perfected the art and science of renting to students at the University of Maryland. At a time when few opportunities were available for a single mother, she borrowed a few dollars from her mother and bought her first rental house in the 1960’s. Her career spanned six decades. She happily shared business advice, spiced with humor and enthusiasm. She helped many a colleague sharpen their skills as they built their own rental portfolios. Mary loved gardening. Her other great passion was dancing with Don Kirsch, her life and dance partner of 40+ years. They were seen dancing everywhere….from the Mid-Atlantic to Florida’s Gulf Coast and at places like Blobs Park, the boardwalk at Bethany Beach and Venice, FL. In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by a son, James Charles “Tiny” Cunningham; her siblings, Martha Kay Dunn, and Charles Gentile, Jr.; and her life partner, Donald Kirsch. She is survived by her son, Vernon B. Cunningham, Jr. of Annapolis and Cambridge, MD, and her grandchildren, Quinn E. Cunningham of Annapolis, MD and Teague Reese Cunard of San Diego, CA. She loved and cherished all her cousins, nieces, and nephews. Funeral arrangements will be posted as they become available. Condolences may be made by using the Memories tab on this page.