Published May 1, 2020

MELROSE — God called Mary Sutherby home on April 22, 2020, when she joined her dear Frank, her husband of 65 years.

Mary was born in Malden, loving daughter of firefighter and World War I veteran William Mooney and Julia Cligott; sister of older brother Bill and younger brother John. She attended St. Joseph’s School, Notre Dame Academy, and Girls Catholic High School. While she received a scholarship to study journalism at a college in New York, God had other plans for Mary.

After high school, Mary worked at the telephone company, operating a comptometer. There she met three sisters, Mary, Gert, and Rita Sutherby, who would introduce her to their brother Frank in 1950. Among other places, they frequented two houses on their dates, Bob Cousy’s house at the Boston Garden and God’s House for Wednesday night Benediction and Sunday Mass.

Mary and Frank were married in 1954 and by 1967 they had welcomed 10 children into the world. When once asked how many children she wanted, she answered warmly, “As many as God would give me.” Mary lived her true calling as a wife, as a mother, and as a child of God. Her family meant everything to her, and she selflessly devoted herself to caring for them, teaching them, and loving them. She somehow managed to keep a house of 11 people running smoothly, preparing nightly meals which all shared together, often infused with laughter. In her calm, organized, and nurturing way, she created an environment where all felt supported and loved.

At the age of 43, Mary decided to go to college and began taking courses at Northeastern University. When her parents started to decline in health, she suspended her studies to care for them, another example of her selfless love for others. She returned to Northeastern’s Burlington campus in 1981, majoring in history, and often as commuting buddies with her sons Jim and Dan who were attending Bentley down the highway. At age 54, she graduated in 1985, summa cum laude, receiving the dean’s award for earning grades that ranked her #1 in her major. 

During the four years she earned her degree, four of her children were married, and she welcomed her first two grandchildren. Her new sons-in-law and daughters-in-law readily became her sons and daughters, and she grew another heart with each grandchild born. By 2000, she had welcomed 14 grandchildren: Jennifer and Catherine Strazdins; Brian and Amanda (Betty) Sutherby; Andrew, Joseph, and Julia Loschiavo; Michael and Danielle Sutherby; Dan Pellegrini; Jaclyn Sutherby; John, Grace, and Elizabeth Marando. All will forever hold on to her generous Grammy Hugs, her welcomed squeezes around the knees, her seemingly perpetual smile, and the caring way she engaged and touched each of them. Last year she was blessed with her first great-grandchild, Jason, who brought such joy to her heart.

Through the years, Mary and Frank remained strong in their dedication to their faith and to their families. Mary’s brothers and their families were always close to her heart: Bill and Jean Mooney, and John and Thomasina (Tommie) Mooney. Mary and Frank remained close with Frank’s siblings and their spouses: Mary and Dan Noonan, George and Estelle Sutherby, Gert and John Marshall, Al and Kathy Sutherby, and Rita and Frank Shaughnessy. Together they raised their large families with love, sharing countless memories at weekend cookouts, card games, weekly dinners, Foxwoods trips (Mary liked the slots), and hundreds of trips, including many to her favorite destination, Bermuda, another world.

Mary was blessed with many gifts and talents, and she used her gifts in service to God and to her family. She was brilliant, humble, compassionate, genuine, and kind to all. She enjoyed being with Frank, an exuberant extrovert and frequent life of the party, while she possessed a quiet inner strength and presence felt in other more subtle ways. She possessed the rare art of being a true listener, and she always had the right thing to say at the right moment. She would be the first to notice if someone in our large family group or at a social gathering was feeling shy or apprehensive, and she’d make them feel comfortable in a personal and nurturing way. She also had a quick wit which could surprise at times, and she shared her generous laugh often. 

Above all, Mary was enormously proud of her children. She treasured her times with them and often found pure joy simply by watching her children and grandchildren engage with one another. She was the loving mother of Patricia M. Strazdins of Boxford, Kathleen M. Pellegrini and her husband John of Saugus, Rita M. Sutherby of Malden, John J. Sutherby and his wife Jeanne of Burlington, Marie F. Loschiavo and her husband James of Tewksbury, James F. Sutherby and his wife Linda of Tewksbury, Robert J. Sutherby of Saugus, Daniel J. Sutherby of Waltham, and Anne M. Marando and her husband Michael of Wakefield, and the late Elizabeth A. Sutherby.

She blessed her children in so many ways, sharing many Mary Pearls of Wisdom and innumerable lessons to live by. Mary was a saint on earth, devoted to her husband, to her family, and to God. She loved her home, with her favorite spot on the sunporch, sitting at the table with Frank, and with a nice cup of tea. Jesus said, “My Father’s House has many rooms. I am going to prepare a place for you, and I will come back and take you to be with me.” God has made a room for Mary, where she now sits with Frank on the sunporch, at peace, and forever remaining in the hearts of her family who love her dearly.

Visitation and funeral service are private. A memorial Mass will be held for Mary at a later time and date that will be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mary’s name to St. Mary’s Church, 46 Myrtle St. Melrose, MA 02176.

Please send the family a card, drop a card at the funeral home for the Sutherby family or send a message of condolence on the Sutherby webpage by visiting Arrangements by Gately Funeral Home, Melrose.