Published March 13, 2020

WAKEFIELD — Florence R. (O’Leary) McLoughlin, 91, in Wakefield, formerly of Saugus and Melrose, died at Bear Hill Rehab and Nursing Center in Wakefield on Sunday, March 8, 2020. She was the loving wife for 55 years of the late James J. McLoughlin.

Born in Malden and raised Melrose, Florence was the devoted daughter of the late John “Tab” and Bessie (McGovern) O’Leary. She had been a resident of Saugus from 1948 until 2011.

Florence was a gentle, kind loving soul. A born nurturer whose greatest joy was her children and family. A devoted Catholic, her faith was at her core and center in every moment. Proud Irish to her bones. Her favorite flower was the white daisy. A few of her most favorite and defining loves:

• A hot cup of tea (milk, 2 sugars).

• The beach, any beach, especially York Beach, Maine where she spent many summers.

• Books, a ferocious reader, she consumed books at an impressive rate.

• Country music (especially Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynett). She was always singing as she moved about the house, her voice was high and soft, sounding a lot like Doris Day.

• Quilting, she loved to quilt and her “quilting club,’ a small group of ladies who became her close friends. Her family cherish the hand-made quilted gifts she had made to commemorate weddings and births, creating memories to last our lifetime.

• Butterscotch Sundae on vanilla ice cream (whip cream no marshmallow).

Mom was a great cook who spoiled us with delicious family recipes; we never left for school without “something warm in our tummy.” She was also an amazing baker, who was always concerned with ingredients to make sure the treats her kids were eating were good and nourishing for us. Her favorite things to cook: roast turkey dinner, Yankee pot roast or boiled dinner (of Corned beef and Cabbage). Her Mother’s stuffing, Irish Bread and her Lasagna were out of this world.

She instilled in her family, an intrinsic sense of values, a deep moral compass, and a strong sense of faith. She cloaked them in love and confidence. Always eager to call out a loved one’s strengths, talents, and accomplishments – an instinctive gift to lift someone up, especially when spirits were low. She inspired your dreams, encouraged you to accomplish everything you want, and made you believe that you can be, and already are, great. All of these things made her who she is and was; she leaves a legacy of warmth and love that will live on through the generations of the family she was devoted to. She will be deeply missed, but never far from our hearts, our minds and our dreams.

Florence is survived by seven children, Mary Lou McLoughlin, James D. McLoughlin and his wife Susan, Kevin J. McLoughlin and his wife Maria, Judy M. Murphy and her husband Joe, Brian McLoughlin and his wife Sherrie, Shawn P. McLoughlin, Scott M. McLoughlin and his wife Sandy; daughter-in -law, Martha McLoughlin; 15 cherished grandchildren; four adored great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her son Thomas McLoughlin and brother Daniel “Tab” O’Leary.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research hospital at stjude.org/donate. 

Relatives and friends were invited to attend visiting hours in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus on Thursday, March 12. Funeral was from the funeral home on Friday, March 13, followed by a funeral mass in St. Mary’s of the Annunciation Church, 4 Herbert St., Melrose. Interment in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. For condolences visit www.BisbeePorcella.com.