Grafton – Mary F. O’Hara passed away peacefully Jan. 24, 2019, surrounded by her loving family.
She leaves her sister and her brother-in-law, Jane O’Hara Page and Richard M. Page, of Needham; her nephew, Richard M. Page Jr. and his wife Maura Murphy, of Wellesley; her niece, Catherine Golden and her husband Shannon Golden of Danville. Calif.; her niece, Elizabeth Skiotis and her husband Michael of Waltham; her niece, Sarah Page, of Winchester; her great-nephews, Rory and Owen Page, of Wellesley; and her great-nieces, Emma and Megan Golden of Danville, Calif.
Mary was passionately devoted to her family. She was godmother to her nephew and nieces, to whom she was a role model, counselor, mentor and friend. She welcomed into the warmth of her embrace her great-nephews and great-nieces, who cherished her and are endlessly grateful for their precious time with her. They grew to be young men and women of whom she was immensely proud. Her spirituality, grace and innumerable acts of kindness, compassion and thoughtfulness will forever serve as an inspiration to her family and friends.
A graduate of Boston University with a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston College, Mary taught English for more than 40 years to high school students in Framingham and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and Fairfield, Conn. A life-long teacher, she instilled a love of learning and education not only in her students, but in her friends and family.
Mary lived most of her long and rich life in her home town of Grafton. Throughout her life, she volunteered her time and talents to St. Philip’s Church, where she was a devout parishioner.
For many years, Mary coordinated the St. Philip’s CCD program, served in the bereavement/ hospitality ministry, and was a member of the monthly coffee social committee and the Christmas Fair committee.
An accomplished seamstress, she designed and donated dozens of hand-sewn quilts and cross-stitched pillows and hangings to the Christmas Fair, where they were purchased and prized by her neighbors and friends. Mary also baked countless cakes, cookies and breads for church and other community gatherings. She baked everything twice – once, as a test, and then again, to achieve perfection. Her commitment to always doing her best inspired others to emulate her.
Mary was a long-time volunteer and docent at the Grafton Historical Society. A meticulous researcher and a clear and concise writer, she contributed to numerous projects, including researching and compiling the writings of Grafton historian Catherine Warren. She also advised on and provided editorial support for Images of America on Grafton Center and provided research support for the “Base Ball Grounds” project. She contributed to initiatives concerning Grafton’s role in World War I and World War II, including developing biographical information on those who gave their lives in service. The Historical Society officially recognized Mary’s contributions to the town of Grafton when it honored her with its Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2011.
Mary was a fine pianist, and she delighted in music, poetry and literature. She was proud of her Irish heritage. She served as the family genealogist, and she loved to record and recount the history of her family, and especially of her beloved parents, Leonard and Catherine, who predeceased her.
Mary had a deep love of all animals, and was especially fond of Arno, Tiger, Olympia, Black Night and Neenan. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Cummings Veterinary Center at Tufts University in North Grafton, where Mary’s beloved cat, Black Night, received such tender and healing care over the years.
The world was a better place for Mary O’Hara’s presence. Her family and her many friends will miss her very much, but they are grateful to have shared with her the wonderful life with which she was blessed.
All are welcome to gather with Mary’s family and friends Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., at Roney Funeral Home, 152 Worcester St., North Grafton, followed by the celebration of her funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Philip’s Church on West Street in Grafton. She will then be laid to rest at St. Phillip’s Cemetery in Grafton.
A Book of Memories to share a memory of Mary or message of sympathy with her family is available online at www.RoneyFuneralHome.com.