By Rebecca Goodman
Enquirer staff writer
PLEASANT RIDGE - Mary K. Hummer parlayed her youthful anxieties into her life's work as a clinical psychologist.
"She understood what it was like from first-hand experience to feel emotional pain and what it was like to have someone there for her, helping her through it," said her husband, Joseph Terbeck. Because a therapist helped her, "she decided that she would like to do the same thing," her husband said. "It was that empathy she shared with her clients that made her such an exceptional therapist. She loved doing it. It wasn't just a job."
Dr. Hummer died Friday of a brain tumor at Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash. The Pleasant Ridge resident was 53.
She was born in Covina, Calif., to parents who had moved west from Cleveland.
She received a bachelor's degree from University of Oregon in Eugene, then chose the University of Cincinnati for graduate school.
"One year she and her family visited her home folks back in Cleveland and it was snowing," her husband said. "She thought that if she ever had children, she would want to raise her children in the snow."
While serving an internship at the adolescent psychiatric unit at University Hospital she met her husband, who was employed there.
They married in 1986 and Dr. Hummer gave birth to a girl - whom she named Maria Elena, after her favorite song - the following year.
Dr. Hummer received a Ph.D. from UC in 1991 and went into private practice as a clinical psychologist in Mount Auburn.
She played piano and was an avid reader. She loved cats and left behind eight of them.
She also enjoyed traveling.
Dr. Hummer was diagnosed with the cancer in spring 2003.
She was able to return to work after undergoing brain surgery. But a second surgery late last summer left her unable to communicate well enough to conduct therapy. She underwent radiation and chemotherapy. "Mary remained amazingly strong and optimistic," her husband said. "She was at peace with her life and unafraid of death."
In addition to her husband and daughter, Marie Elena Hummer Terbeck, she is survived by two sisters, Carol Humiston of San Marino, Calif., and Donna Hummer of Covina; and a brother, Eddie Hummer of Thousand Palms, Calif.
Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Jon Deitloff Funeral Centre, 4389 Spring Grove Ave., Winton Place. The funeral is 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home followed by a reception.
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