Mary Anne Stagg

Obituary of Mary Anne Stagg

Mary Anne Stagg passed away peacefully October 21, 2023, at home with family in Arlington, Virginia.

Born on February 17, 1944, she was the daughter of the late Richard J. Black and Rita A. Black of Claymont, Delaware.

She grew up in Claymont among cherished aunts, uncles, and cousins who, true to their Irish roots, valued family time and traditions. She graduated from Claymont High School in 1962 and was very aptly described in the yearbook as “a good friend to all who knew her.” Soon after graduation, Mary Anne eagerly joined the workforce taking a role with Atlas Chemical Industries, Inc. (a corporate predecessor of AstraZeneca) in Wilmington, Delaware.

A few years later, on a whim, she joined a friend for an evening out at the University and Whist Club of Wilmington where she would make the acquaintance of her future husband, Alton “Pete” Winfield Stagg. Evidently, that first dance sparked it all. Mary Anne and Pete were married for 36 wonderful years until his passing in 2007.

After the birth of their daughter Amy, the family lived for many years in Mendenhall, Pennsylvania, not far from the beautiful Brandywine Valley, later moving to Maryland’s Eastern Shore upon Pete’s retirement, to be near his birthplace in Snow Hill, Maryland.

Mary Anne cultivated a passion for real estate and purchased her first property in the late 80s with her own savings. She forged a career out of renovating properties in need of TLC and reselling them only after incorporating her special flair for design and décor. Pursuing each project with exacting care, she acquired and managed over a dozen properties across the Delmarva Peninsula.

Mary Anne will be remembered for her love of animals (especially longtime companion American Eskimo “Jack,”) and her eclectic tastes in music and art, inspired in part by the family’s proximity to the Brandywine studio of the realist painter Andrew Wyeth.

Her boundless generosity and kindness brightened the lives of family, friends and neighbors. If she witnessed another human being in need, she helped them. If someone fell ill, she took care of them. That’s what she practiced as well as what she preached, instilling in others the value of stealthy good deeds done for their own sake.

Mary Anne is survived by daughter Amy Stagg Long (Gus) of Arlington, Virginia.

A private service and interment of ashes will take place on Friday, November 3 at All Hallows Episcopal Church in Snow Hill, Maryland. A celebration of Mary Anne’s life will take place on Saturday, November 11 from 1-5 p.m., hosted at her daughter and son-in-law’s home in Arlington, Virginia. All family and friends are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Goodwin Living Foundation supporting Goodwin Hospice of Virginia or to Eskie Rescuers United (

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