We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Byron Keenan Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center
Marie T. Leary of East Longmeadow passed away at age 91 amid her loving family on April 28th. Marie was the devoted wife of Thomas D. Leary, Sr. for 69 years. Mr. Leary passed away earlier this year. She was the daughter of Walter and Katharine Hussey and was predeceased by her brothers Walter and Edward Hussey and her sister Kathryn Mason. She is survived by her children, Tucker Leary and his wife Catherine of Groton CT, Kevin Leary of Stornoway Scotland, Katherine Leary of South Dartmouth, and Beth Leary Gross and her husband Joel of Walpole, her six grandchildren, Daniel Leary of Middletown CT, Mary Gray Kallmann and her husband Andrew of New Canaan CT, Tyler Robinson of New York City, Katherine Gross of Austin Texas, Thomas Gross and Kevin Gross, and two great-grandchildren, James and Charlotte Kallmann.
Marie was a charming, brown-eyed Irish beauty who grew up in Holy Name Parish. She attended the original Cathedral High School, where she developed a close circle of friends, including her sorority, which endured throughout her life. She also captivated the attention of Tom Leary, who became the love of her life. They married in 1952, just before Tom was deployed for service in the US Army. After graduating from The College of St. Elizabeth in New Jersey and before starting a family, Marie was a dietician at Mercy Hospital in Springfield.
After the birth of their first child Tucker, Marie and infant Tucker joined Tom in Salzburg Austria, where he had been stationed as a member of the Military Police. There were challenges (Tom rented an apartment with no stove!) And there were memorable travels in Europe they would recount for the rest of their lives.
Once back in Springfield, Marie and Tom settled in Holy Cross Parish, where they raised their four children, who attended Holy Cross Grammar School and the new Cathedral High School. Marie was an active parishioner at Holy Cross Church, where she and Tom had been married, and decades later at St. Michael's in East Longmeadow. Known for her generosity to many causes and famously for her willingness to let the Sisters at Holy Cross Grammar School borrow her car and then organize, along with her dear friend and neighbor Carolyn Demers, an S&H Green Stamps drive to buy them a new car.
To her children, Marie was always there, a maternal source of love, comfort, and encouragement, giving each of them the confidence to make a good start in the world. Marie anticipated everyone’s needs. She was generous with her time, always available to listen and advise any member of the extended family who was struggling through life.
Sweet-natured and approachable, well dressed and poised, with a cute sense of humor, Marie made connections of friendship as she and Tom moved from Springfield to Somers CT, from Nantucket to Vero Beach, Florida, and finally back to their home in East Longmeadow, welcoming their children, grandchildren, and friends wherever they were. Marie and Tom enjoyed a life well lived and, until the very end, an unwavering devotion to each other.
Marie and Tom were the recipients of loving care by their home health aides from Pioneer Valley Home Care, especially Gina and Yadi, who kept them incredibly comfortable and happy in their last years.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Monday, June 13th at 10:30 AM at St. Michael’s Church, 128 Maple Street in East Longmeadow. There will be no calling hours. The family suggests that any remembrance be considered for Community Nurse and Hospice Care, 651 Purchase St. New Bedford, MA 02740. For more information, please visit us at www.byronkeenan.com
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Community Nurse Home Care
62 Center Street, Fairhaven MA 02719