Mary Fox Herling, 84, who was active in labor and service groups in New York and Washington and who was a founder of the Bannockburn community in Bethesda, died of Parkinsons's disease Saturday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.
Mrs. Herling came to Washington in 1941. She was assistant chief of the cooperative housing section of the War Labor Board during World War II in 1946, with the war over, she was appointed administrative officer of the Washington Newspaper Guild, now the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, a position she held for a year.
She then became president of Group Housing Cooperative. The organization's members bought an old golf course in Bethesda and built the Bannockburn community, which became Bannockburn Cooperators Inc., until about 1960.
Mrs. Herling was born in New York City and grew up in Montclair, N.J. She graduated at Oxford University for a year. She later taught in Colorado Springs, Chicago and Brooklyn. She became interested in housing and established the Bleeker Gardens development in Greenwich Village, N.Y. The project was created out of a block and a half of slums.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, she became secretary of the League for Industrial Democracy, a group established by Upton Sinclair.
Also active in it was Nroman Thomas, the scoialist leader. She edited "The Unemployed," a magazine published by the League and sold by unemployed persons. Among those who wrote for it without compensation were Heywood Broun Reinhold Niebuhr, Elmer Davis and Paul Douglas.
Mrs. Herling also ran a series of meetings at which university groups were exposed to the goals and problems of the labor movement.
Survivors include her husband, John, a labor writer, of the home in the Bannockburn community; a son, David Stolberg, of Cincinnati; a brother, Frank Fox, of Key West, Fla.; a sister, Dr. Ruth Fox, of New York City, and one granchild.