Cover photo for Mary Mullaney's Obituary
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Mary Mullaney

March 20, 1952 — June 29, 2024

Worcester

Mary Mullaney

Mary Mullaney, 72, of Worcester, MA passed away peacefully at home on June 29th after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She died with her husband and children at her side. 

Mary was born on March 20, 1952 in Jersey City, NJ. The oldest of 8 children, she was the first in her family to go to college. She attended St. Mary’s College, then the University of Notre Dame in their first class of women. She studied abroad in Angers, France where she made dear friends who she met-up with regularly for class reunions. She stayed at Notre Dame to attend law school, where she met Kevin Kearney. They married in1980. Mary practiced immigration law in Newark, NJ, and New Haven, CT.

Together, Mary and Kevin raised 7 children. Their early married years were spent in New Haven, Madison, WI, and Indianapolis, finally setting in Worcester in 1987. Her first friends in Worcester were a group of fellow Catholic moms who met in Chris Derr’s kitchen. She raised her children in the company of these women and their families (carpooling, sleepovers, etc.).When asked how she did it- she would quote Matthew 6:28“Observe how the lilies of the field grow.” She embodied what it means to be open and interested in whatever God has in store for us.

Mary lived simply and did good. She loved children. As her own grew into adulthood, she found new ways to extend her vocation as a mother. She welcomed foster children, worked in the Worcester Public Schools, and formed lifelong friendships with kids she got to know while working at a summer camp atAscension Church. She served on the Worcester School Committee from 1993-2011, where she was proudest of the work she did to expand funding for arts and music programs for Worcester’s kids. 

One of Mary’s greatest gifts was forming and nourishing close friendships. She kept friends from all phases of her life. Shecherished quality time and conversations about life over tea or lunch. One of her favorite places to spend time was the Greendale YMCA. She knew just about everyone’s name, and everyone’s story. She liked to say the world’s biggest problems could be resolved over a chat in the whirlpool. She loved to travel, visiting corners all over the world with her husband and children. She had a special affection for dogs, especially her pal Belle who brought her so much comfort in the early days of her journey with cancer.

In the last 10 years of her life, she found her ultimate joy in being “Ama” to her 11 grandchildren. While she loved quiet time reading, doing sudokus, and relaxing with Kevin, she loved nothing more than

the sounds of her big family echoing through her home. What sounds like chaos to some, was life to

Mary.


She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Kevin; her 7children and 11 grandchildren- Aidan Kearney and his former spouse, Julie, and their children Allison and Brady, John (Shannon) Kearney and their children Ryan, Charlie, Moriah and Blaise, Damian (Clarisa) Kearney and their children Madeleine, Nicolas and Noelle, Flannery (Emilien) Audebrandand their children Felix and Elise, Clare Kearney, Paul Kearney and Alana Kearney. Predeceased by her parents Marie and Vincent, sisters Peggy and Anne, she is survived by her siblings, Pat, Brian, Kathleen, Tim and Joe and their spouses, and many beloved nieces and nephews. She will be missed dearly by those who knew and loved her in this life.

The family would like to thank Dr. Venu Bathini and Dr. JamesLindbergh, the team at UMass Medical, her primary care provider Dr. Dennis Murphy, and the Jewish Healthcare Hospice team who cared for her so well. She made a point to acknowledge the difference it made to have providers who treated her so personably, often staying well beyond the allottedtime to listen, talk and share stories.

A service for family and friends is currently being planned. The family would like to welcome as many as are able. As arrangements are finalized, we ask that you reach out directly to the family via e-mail for details on date, time and place: mullaneyfuneral@gmail.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary’s name can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network:

http://support.pancan.org/goto/marymullaney

or by mail, to PANCAN, 1500 Rosecrans Ave, Ste 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Mullaney, please visit our flower store.

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