Published in the September 1, 2017 edition

McAvoy-obit_webMELROSE — Doris M. (O’Connor) McAvoy, 88, of Melrose, died peacefully on August 26. 

Doris was born in Chelsea on May 6, 1929 to James and Mary Alice (Flynn) O’Connor. She was raised in East Boston and Winthrop, and graduated from Fitten High School. Doris went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Mt. St. Mary’s College. 

She worked as a lab technician at Boston City Hospital prior to starting her own family, and after raising her children Doris went to work as the assistant activities director for the Dexter House in Malden, as a volunteer at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and later as a volunteer ombudsman serving patients at local nursing homes. 

Doris married her husband, James, in 1955 at St. John’s Church in Winthrop. They had five children and raised them in Melrose. They lived a million stories they could tell together with a lot of laughs. They had a tight knit group of neighbors and had a lot of fun raising families and having adventures together. 

In her spare time Doris enjoyed gardening, music, a good party and had a love for animals which led to the family having a variety of pets over the years, including her beloved cocker spaniels (Tammy, Toby, Teddy, Andy, Missie and Maggie). 

She collected and made dolls and was active in the Arts & Crafts Society in Melrose. 

She had a wonderful group of friends who met regularly for Mass, line dancing, yoga and lunch at the Irish Shop to share stories and complain about their loving families. 

Doris and James spent 50 summers in Harwich with their family. 

“Doe” took care of everyone around her and was always up for an adventure. She loved her family and friends very much, and will be greatly missed by them all. 

She was the beloved wife of Atty. James A. McAvoy Jr. of Peabody, formerly of Melrose. She was the loving mother of James D. McAvoy and his wife Pamela of Saco, ME, and their children Alice and Hannah; Daniel J. McAvoy and his wife Candice Gemski of Medfield, and their daughter Sofia; Carol E. O’Leary and her husband Jerard of Saugus, and their children Madelyn and Matthew; Peter J. McAvoy and his wife Heather of Winchester and their children Connor and Kathryn; and Patrick M. McAvoy and his wife Ellen of Melrose and their children Seamus, Griffin, Bridget and Aiden. 

Visiting hours were held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St., Melrose, on Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A funeral procession was held from the Gately Funeral Home on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 9 a.m., followed by a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Mary’s Church, 9 Herbert St., Melrose. 

Interment in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011. To leave an online message of condolence please visit