Ocean Beach 12

Mary O'Connor

October 18, 1934 ~ December 18, 2021 (age 87)


Mary Ryan O’ Connor, 87, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Mont Marie Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Holyoke surrounded by the care and comfort of her loving family. She was born in Springfield on October 18, 1934, a beloved daughter of the late Edward and Gertrude (Fitzgerald) Ryan.  She was raised in Springfield and was a lifelong resident of the city. Mary is predeceased by her beloved husband Edward J. O’Connor who died in November 2013. They were married on July 18, 1959 at Holy Name Church in Springfield and were blessed with 54 years of married life. They raised their family on Manchester Terrace in Springfield and were communicants of St. Paul’s Church for many years. Mary leaves her 3 children: Mary Hudson and husband Edward of Natick, MA, Ann Marie O’Toole and husband James of East Longmeadow, MA, and Joseph O’Connor of Chicopee, MA.  She also leaves five cherished grandchildren, Caroline (Hudson) Murphy of Braintree, MA, Ryan O’Toole of Bethesda, MD, Emily (Hudson) Brown of Framingham, MA, James O’Toole of Springfield and Jillian O’Toole of Boston, MA.  She also leaves her beloved Sister Gertrude (Trudy) Ryan of East Longmeadow, dear brother Edward and his wife Lucy Ryan of Dedham, MA, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Joseph and sister-in-law Janice Ryan of Feeding Hills, MA. Mary had a long and varied career beginning with the Springfield Police Department, and retiring in 1999 as the department secretary for the Nursing program at Springfield Technical Community College.  At STCC, Mary was a frequent "go-to" for students struggling with the anxiety and pressures of entering the healthcare profession. She was an unofficial counselor who helped them grasp the responsibility they would be embracing. Mary was the paragon of compassion. During her working life and in her retirement, until her very final years, she was always caring for family members and friends who had no one else. She was devoted to their welfare, both bringing them homemade care packages, and taking the time to talk and, more importantly, to listen to them. Her greatest pleasure in life was spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and exposing them to new experiences.  She was artistic and explored many mediums: oil painting, seashell crafting, and mosaics. Even when frailty and COVID required isolation, her family would be able to remotely see and speak with her frequently, and could see her eyes shine. She never lost her sense of humor, even to the end.  Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made in Mary’s name to Mont Marie Health Care Center Activity Department, 36 Lower Westfield Rd. Holyoke, MA 01040, or the Alzheimer's Association, 264 Cottage St. Springfield, MA 01104. Services for Mary will be private. Arrangements entrusted to the Byron Keenan Funeral Home and Cremation Tribute Center, 1858 Allen Street, Springfield, MA, 01118, www.byronkeenan.com







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