She and her husband purchased a dilapidated rowhouse in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia in 1976. When they divorced several years later, she kept the house.
She supervised the home's renovation, said her daughter, Jessica Zyak. She did this while holding down a job as a social worker, attending Drexel University (where she earned a master's in neuropsychology in 1990), and caring for her child.
Also, she did much of the work herself. She would scrape multiple layers of paint from her staircase on Saturdays, Zyak said, and on Sunday mornings put on a pretty hat and flowered frock for services at First Baptist Church in Center City, where she was a longtime member.
She never lost her Southern drawl and was the quintessential "Steel Magnolia," her daughter said.
She loved gardening and ballroom dancing - especially the tango.
Her proudest accomplishment, her daughter said, was earning a doctorate from Drexel University in clinical neuropsychology in 1992.
For seven years she maintained a practice in Philadelphia affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University, and evaluated patients with head injuries, dementia, learning disabilities, and other neurological problems.
She was also on the staff of the psychiatric and addiction treatment unit at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Philadelphia.
In 1999, Dr. Comer moved back to Danville to help care for her mother, and established a practice there. She kept her home in Philadelphia and spent part of each year here.
After she was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, she was treated at Lankenau and Jefferson Hospitals, and had to close her practice.
In her final months, her Spring Garden neighbors, with whom she remained close, helped care for her in her home.
In addition to her daughter and her mother, Dorothy Comer, Dr. Comer is survived by a sister, Phyllis Beyers; a grandson, Sam Zyak; and her former husband.
A memorial service was held July 9 at First Baptist Church in Danville.
Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or firstname.lastname@example.org.