Folsom Funeral Service

MacKay, Mary J.

 Mackay, mary edited

Mary J. (Foley) MacKay, age 92, a Roslindale resident for 70 years, passed away on January 9, 2017.  She was born on September 26, 1924 to John Lawrence and Martha (Buzzell) Foley.  Mary was raised in Waltham, MA and graduated from Waltham High School in 1943.   She married Francis MacKay, a WWII veteran and lawyer, in 1947.  They welcomed their son Lawrence Joseph the following year and were blessed to have him for 12 years.  After Larry’s drowning death, Mary continued to mourn his tragic loss throughout her lifetime.

Mary worked for Lahey Clinic in Boston for 20 years before leaving to be a full-time homemaker upon the birth of their second child.  She later worked 20 years for the US Immigration and Naturalization Service as a paralegal until her retirement in 1997, after being recognized many times for outstanding performance and being twice named Clerk-Secretary of the Year by the Federal Executive Board.

Mary also leaves a rich legacy of volunteerism in Boston Public Schools, and in 1978 was awarded the Kit Clark Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by the Citywide Educational Coalition.  Her favorite charity was the American Heart Association, for which she campaigned many years, raising thousands of dollars.  Mary also organized toy collection drives at her workplace for the New England Home for Little Wanderers.

Mary most enjoyed spending time with her family, shopping, and reading.  Her interests ranged from medical literature to historical romance and nearly everything in between.

Mary was a doting grandmother to her two grandchildren, infinitely patient and always generous with her time and encouragement.   A trouper from the greatest generation, Mary was often stoical in the face of her own hardships; but she was never without a word of comfort or reassurance for those in need.  Her lifelong compassion for others led her to always give people the benefit of the doubt, and to always consider issues from the other person’s frame of mind.  When she chose to offer her opinion, she was fair-minded and positive without fail, never uncharitable or unkind.  Her selflessness as a caretaker to her family, and her decency in the way she lived her life, both publicly and privately, have been lasting inspirations to those whose lives she touched.

Mary leaves her daughter Pamela M. Fair, son-in-law Robert J. Fair, grandson Richard R. Bennett, and granddaughter Kiera A. Fair, all of Roslindale, two sisters-in-law, Patricia Foley and June Foley, both of Waltham, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Mary was predeceased by her beloved husband of 43 years, Francis MacKay, and her son Lawrence J. MacKay, both of Roslindale; her parents John L. and Martha (Buzzell) Foley; as well as all of her siblings:  Emma E. Buckley, William G. Foley, Eleanore J. Krampits, and Charles G. “Jerry” Foley, all of Waltham.  Mary had also been primary caretaker for her cherished in-laws, the late Joseph A. and H. Ednah (Richardson) MacKay.

Services will be private.  Interment in New Calvary Cemetery.  Arrangements by Folsom Funeral Service, 63 Belgrade Ave., Roslindale, MA

Guestbook Entries

  1. January 16th, 2017 | 6:56 pm

    Just heartbroken over this loss, but I remain comforted by the foundation and legacy that this wonderful woman leaves behind. It is truly a better world for her having been in it.

  2. David McCormack
    January 17th, 2017 | 2:29 pm

    Pamela, I’m very sorry for your loss. Mary was truly a delightful individual to have known and worked for. She was a wonderful mentor and friend and I pray that the Almighty comfort you and your loved ones at this time.

  3. Mary A. Sciuto
    January 18th, 2017 | 10:19 am

    Pamela and family,

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. I worked with Mary for many years and remember her as being a kind, soft spoken lady. May she rest in peace.

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Folsom Funeral Service

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