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Dolores Elizabeth Coffey

August 1, 1929 — August 25, 2023

South Boston

Dolores Elizabeth Coffey

 

 

Dolores Elizabeth Santoro Coffey
August 1, 1929  — August 25, 2023


Dolores Elizabeth Santoro Coffey passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her children on August 25, 2023 at the age of 94. She was devoted to her Catholic faith, her large family, Gate of Heaven Church, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, her chums from the church choir and Boston Athletic Club, and South Boston, her home town. 

 

Dolores was born to Lewis (Popoli, Italy) and Agnes (Regan of South Boston) Santoro. She attended Gate of Heaven School and boarded at Mount Saint Joseph Academy (MSJA ‘46). After earning her degree from Wilfred Academy, she worked as a beautician in her parents’ Cambridge beauty salon and then at Marian Manor. As a choir member and soloist for Gate of Heaven and other churches, she was introduced by her dear friend and organist to Walter G. Coffey at a novena Mass, and their fairytale romance began. 

 

Dolores and Walter were married for 40 years. Dolores devoted herself to raising their seven children. Their home and backyard were always filled with neighborhood children, popsicles, whimsical games, and laughter. She delighted in becoming Nana to 12 grandchildren. She was forever hosting family, friends, and neighbors. 

 

Dolores had a beautiful alto singing voice and dedicated more than 70 years to the Gate of Heaven Choir. She was an active volunteer at Gate of Heaven School. She was instrumental in fundraising for the gymnatorium and other projects at Mount Saint Joseph Academy. Also received Mount Saint Joseph Woman of Excellence. When her own children were grown, she worked as an After School Youth Program Tutor at the Curley Community Center. Additionally, Dolores cared for countless neighbors and family members including her parents — always with a cheerful word, bright smile, and homemade treat or meal. 

 

Dolores was preceded in death by her beloved husband Walter, parents Lewis and Agnes Santoro, her children Agnes Ethel and Geri Coffey, and her brother Lewis (Elizabeth) Santoro of Anchorage AK. She leaves behind her 7 children and 12 grandchildren: Dolores (Paul) Gruszka (children: Laura & Natalie) of Valparaiso, IN; Teresa (Paul) Coffey-Gordon (children: Claire & Paul) of South Boston; Kathleen (David) Heger of Manomet; Dennis (Brandi) Coffey (children: Kylie, Faith, and Chloe) of Peabody; Walter (Barbara) Coffey (children: Aidan, Maeve, and Gavin) of Norwell; Christine (John) Kane (children: Jack and Tess) of South Boston; and Stephen Coffey of Boston. She is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, September 2 at 10:00 a.m. at Gate of Heaven Church, 615 E. Fourth St., South Boston. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Visiting hours will be held on Friday, September 1 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. in the lower level of Gate of Heaven Church, 615 E. Fourth St., South Boston.  Funeral Mass will be livestreamed at www.GateofHeavenStBrigid.org. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Dolores’ life can make a memorial gift to Gate of Heaven/St. Brigid Parish, 841 E. Broadway South Boston MA. 02127. Arrangements by Wm. F. Spencer Funeral Service 575 E. Broadway South Boston. www.spencerfuneralservice.com

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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, September 1, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Gate of Heaven Catholic Church

615 E 4th St, Boston, MA 02127

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Mass

Saturday, September 2, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Gate of Heaven Catholic Church

615 E 4th St, Boston, MA 02127

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