Folsom Funeral Service

Hemman, Mary

Hemman, Mary cropped

Mary Hemman age 92 years, passed away on December 14, 2013 at the Sunrise Senior Living in Norwood, MA. Born in the parsonage in Hamden Highlands, Maine, she was the daughter of The Rev. Alfred Geer Hempstead and Ellen (Pottberg) Hempstead and the widow of Robert E. Hemman of Norwood, MA who died in 2001.  Raised in Maine, she graduated from Bucksport High School and the University of Maine, Orono, class of 1943, where she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority.  Mary met her husband in Bristol, Maine and married in 1943.

Mary was an active member of the Norwood community after moving to Norwood in 1950.  She was elected to the Norwood School Committee 4 times (1955 – 1968) and appointed by the Moderator to the Building Committees of the Prescott, Cleveland, and Oldham Elementary Schools.  In 1985, she was one of the founders and first Treasurer of the Norwood Scholarship Foundation.  In 1992, she was appointed by the Selectmen to the Norwood Board of Registrars of Voters and served from 1992-2013.  For many years, she was active in the Massachusetts Society for the Education of Women which met in Boston.  She was a dedicated Executive Secretary of the Alice H. Plimpton Educational Trust for 40 years where she interviewed candidates for scholarships.  She held the positions of President and Secretary of the Meals on Wheels Program in Norwood and was a volunteer driver into Boston for the FISH program. In 1995, Mary and Robert were inducted as Royal Knights of Norwood at the NHS Renaissance Banquet. In 2007, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women awarded her the Unsung Heroine Award for the Town of Norwood because of “the difference” she made in Norwood.

In addition to serving her community, she was also a faithful member of the First Congregational Church of Norwood.  She participated in many of the church’s activities as a member of the Religious Education Committee, Historian, Deacon, former Chair, or Co-Chair of the church fair, Secretary of the Sunday School program and Secretary to the Protestant Chaplain Committee of the Norwood Hospital.

Although her commitment to Norwood was untiring, she never forgot her ties to Maine and continued summering at her family’s cherished Onawa Lake near Moosehead Lake and cottage at Round Pond Harbor, ME.  After graduating from the University of Maine, Orono, Mary continued her interest in Alpha Omicron Pi as advisor to the new chapter at Northeastern University and was a participant in AOII’s Boston alumnae activities and national convention representative 1996.  She also was a frequent participant in reunions at the University of Maine for 65 years.

Mary’s interests included collecting antiques, creating needlepoint pieces, traveling throughout the U.S. in Emily and Bob Tibbetts’ motor home, and enjoying cruises in the Caribbean and other warm climates.

However, her true talent lay in being a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother nurturing her family with words of encouragement, a sincere interest in their activities, and being a positive role model to them.


Mary is survived by her two children and their spouses, 5 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.  Mary’s son Stephen resides in Westminster, MA with his wife Carolyn.  Her daughter Nancy and husband William Kennedy live in Walpole, MA.  Mary’s grandson Peter Kennedy and his wife Jocelyn live in Cary, N C; her grandson Charles lives in Wrentham with his wife Audra and children Brenna, Braden, and Brooke Kennedy; her grandson Gregory Kennedy resides in Walpole with his wife Linda and children Alexander and Grace; Mary’s grandson Jeffrey Hemman, his wife Rachel and children Jacqueline, Nathaniel, and Maxwell reside in Andover, MA, and her granddaughter Suzanne Hemman York lives in Salem, MA with her husband Jeff.  Mary also is survived by her sister Elizabeth (Betty) Dexter of Auburn, ME and extended family who share their love of Onawa Lake with her.

Family and friends are invited to attend Mary’s memorial service which will be held at the First Congregational Church of Norwood, 100 Winter Street, Norwood, MA on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM.  A collation will follow in Pingree Hall at the church.

In lieu of flowers and in remembrance of Mary’s dedication to these organizations, donations would be appreciated to The Norwood Scholarship Foundation , PO Box 112, Norwood, MA 02062 or to The First Congregational Church of Norwood , 100 Winter Street, Norwood, MA 02062.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Phyllis and Edmund Hemmer
    December 16th, 2013 | 4:53 pm

    Mary has been such a loyal and respected friend through the years. We will surely miss her in so many ways. May God bless her family at this time of loss. Sincerely, Phyllis and Ed Hemmer

  2. Barbara Boch
    December 16th, 2013 | 5:06 pm

    Mary was a wonderful human being and she will surely be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her wonderful family.

  3. Marguerite and Joe
    December 17th, 2013 | 11:16 am

    Nancy and Family our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. You know how Joe felt about your mom. Love Marguerite

  4. Jim & Dolores
    December 18th, 2013 | 11:59 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve and his family.

  5. Wayne Courtemanche
    December 18th, 2013 | 12:23 pm

    To Steve and family we extend our sincere sympathy.
    Wayne and Anita.

  6. jack bernazzani & kathleen raftery
    December 18th, 2013 | 2:23 pm

    Steve and Nancy,
    Our sincere condolences on your loss. Your mom was such a wonderful contributor to the quality of life in our hometown.
    jack & katheen

  7. Brett Kustigian, Quaboag Superintendent of Schools
    December 18th, 2013 | 2:31 pm

    Dr. Hemmen & Family,
    On behalf of the Quaboag Regional School District, please accept our deepest sympathy upon the passing of a wonderful and compassionate person. I hope that the expressions of concern and sorrow, coupled with your own memories, are of comfort to you at this time.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  8. Tom and Sue McQuaid
    December 22nd, 2013 | 2:49 pm


    Sue and I are sad to hear of the passing of your mom, Mary. Her pioneering committed as a School Committee Member and her leadership with the Norwood Scholarship Society will be a lasting legacy.

    We appreciate all that the Hemmen family has done for the citizens and students of Norwood from your mom and Dad and to you.

    May she rest in the peace and company of her beloved Bob,

    Tom and Sue

  9. Bill and nancy St.Laurent
    December 22nd, 2013 | 2:57 pm

    We will remember Mary for her domineering good will, her faithfulness, and her unerring sense of what was right, just, and even necessary. She is someone to admire and whose example is well worth following.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  10. Barbara and Dave Brierley
    December 24th, 2013 | 7:50 am

    As you all know, Mary was a truly remarkable woman and we were blessed to have known her. When we celebrated the church’s 275th, Mary was fascinating to have on the historical committee. She had great personal stories about both the people of the church and the town. Her commitment to the church and town were inspirational. We will miss her greatly. Barbara and Dave Brierley

  11. Margo Musante
    January 22nd, 2014 | 1:39 pm

    My deepest sympathy for the loss of a most wonderful human being. Mary was a positive, kind and happy person. She was interested in people and never forgot to ask about one. I will forever remember her as part of my extended family and will miss her.

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service