Published in the September 9, 2016 edition.
She was the loving wife of Brian L. O’Leary.
Born in Salem, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Sophie (Karzmarek) Walsh.
Mrs. O’Leary graduated from St. James High School in Salem. She went to work at the telephone company while taking classes at Salem State College and Boston College.
After marrying, she settled in Marblehead before moving to Wakefield to raise her family. Mary worked as a clerk in the Assessor’s Office for the Town of Wakefield.
She became involved in many community organizations, helping to found Friends of Lake Quannapowitt. She worked diligently with this group to not only beautify the Lake, but make the Lake accessible to all and to ensure the health of the Lake. Her tireless work was recognized when she was awarded the Gertrude Spaulding Award in 2010.
Mary recognized the importance of local libraries, joining and helping lead Friends of the Library groups in Wakefield and in Putnam, Conn. as well as book groups, often being in the middle of three or more books at a time. Mary was an avid and accomplished quilter. It was through quilt guilds and civic involvement that Mary made so many wonderful and caring friends. They were a treasure to her.
Mary’s greatest joy came from her grandchildren. She loved exploring the world again through her grandchildren’s eyes and experiences. They have beautiful memories of their grandmother and the adventures she shared.
In addition to her husband, Mary is survived by her son John O’Leary and his wife April of Tewksbury; daughters Gail Klanchesser and her husband John of Newington, N.H. and Joanne Listro and her husband Anthony of Woodstock; brothers William Walsh of Newington, Conn. and Jack Walsh and his wife Jean of Salem; sister Margaret Penney and her husband John of Hanover, and grandchildren, Joseph, Matthew, Nicholas, Rebecca, Linnea, Micaela, Ryan, Samuel, Benjamin, Jacob, Anthony and Sophia.
Relatives and friends were invited to visit with Mary’s family from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, in the Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St., Putnam, Conn. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at noon in Most Holy Trinity Church, 568 Pomfret Rd., Pomfret, Conn.
A memorial service will be held in Wakefield at later date.
For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.