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A Funeral Mass will be held
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Instate 10:00am Mass 11:00am
St. Edith Catholic Church
15089 Newburgh Road
Livonia, Michigan 48154
A luncheon will take place in the church hall right after the Mass concludes.
Interment will take place
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Great Lakes National Cemetery
4200 Belford Road
Holly, Michigan 48442
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Angela Hospice Care Center
Mary P. McCarthy, née McCaffrey, was born in 1935 in northern Ireland (near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh) to Joseph and Margaret McCaffrey. She grew up with two sisters (Mena and Josie) and six brothers (Francis, Pat, Gerard, Tommy, Bennie, and Kevin). As the eldest of nine, Mary “made herself useful” on the farm by helping her father support her large Irish Catholic family during the especially challenging war years. During World War II in Europe, most crops and livestock were sold to feed the troops, leaving limited rations and hungry bellies at home. Mary persevered though, adopting the grateful and hard-working character she was known for throughout life. She attended school in a one-room schoolhouse until the age of 13 and there she learned lifelong skills, including arithmetic, knitting, and sewing.
Mary was immensely brave. At 14, Mary left her family for Glasgow, Scotland, to seek work. Though too young for most jobs, Mary was willing to do anything she could to send money back to her family in Ireland. She eventually settled on work at a cornstarch factory, a candy factory, and as an aide in the children’s tuberculosis ward at a hospital in Paisley. She adored attending the Irish and Scottish dances on the weekends—traveling with a dear friend on two buses and a boat to get there!
By 17, Mary immigrated to the United States. Education was important to her, and she attained her GED. Here she found work at Stouffer’s and as live-in house staff to wealthy families in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She met the love and light of her life—her beloved John—at an Irish dance in 1955. They married in 1958 and celebrated what would have been 65 years of marriage this year. They made their home in Livonia, Michigan, for over 50 years. He passed just three months before she did.
Above all, Mary loved her family. She would do anything to ensure their happiness and cherished watching them shine. She was blessed with three daughters (including twins!), seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, and served an active role in each of their lives. She was her family’s rock—a calm and gentle presence—and could be counted on always to lend a listening ear or give a big hug.
She is remembered for her unmatched selflessness, her readiness to help friends and neighbors, her care for the sick and elderly, her love of children, and her spirit for baking, sewing, and knitting. A talented seamstress, she embroidered Irish dancing costumes, artfully crafted each of her grandchildren’s holiday outfits, and lovingly clothed her family with her talents until her hands could sew no more.
Mary knew how to make people feel special and loved. Her warm heart was felt in years of prayers, comforting phone calls, knitted blankets, afternoon tea, and care packages of banana bread, scones, strawberry rhubarb jam, and cookies. The world is a kinder place because of Mary.
In addition to her eight siblings, Mary is survived by her daughters Anne (William) Murray, Geraldine (Kevin) Dillon, and Colleen (John) Janosik; her grandchildren Katherine (Hunter) Blue, Allison Murray (engaged to Weston), Lauren (Kyle) Duch, Ian Murray, Julia (Manuel) Sanchez, McKenzy (Nick) Naife, and Aidan Janosik; and her great-grandchildren Elizabeth, Ryan, Connor, Brooks, and Gwyneth