Essex, MA — Mary Ahern Mears of Brighton, Winchester, and Essex, passed away peacefully in her home, after 91 extraordinary years, surrounded by her family, Friday morning, April 19, 2013.
She was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1921, at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton. She was the daughter of Irish immigrants, B. Theresa Buckley and John J. Ahern. Even though she was an only child, her life was full of excitement and opportunity. Her parents were servants and they lived in homes of wealth. She described her childhood as loving and magical, a place where she was treated as family by her parents’ employers. She attributes her outlook on life to her parents, who gave her the gifts of a love of people, the importance of education and an openness to experience new opportunities. Her parting message to us, “Aren’t we lucky to have known each other and to have had this opportunity to have shared life together?”
She attended Fisk School, Boston, Alexander Hamilton School, Brighton, Thomas E. Edison Junior High School, Brighton (the first Junior High School in the Boston Public School system), Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, graduating Class of 1939, salutatorian and president of the class, Katherine Gibbs, Boston 1939-1941, dean’s list. She also attended Salem State and North Shore Community College.
Mary was an avid volunteer and public servant including, Mass Women’s Defense Corps 1941-1943, Captain Brighton-Allston Motor Corps Division under Col. Natalie Hays Hammond.
While living in Winchester from 1958 to 1974, she was very busy raising her children and volunteering for many groups and clubs, including Cub Scouts and Brownies, Friends of Winchester Hospital, Winton Club (Winchester Hospital Support Group),Coach, St. Mary’s CYO Theater Group and CCD instructor, Parish Players 1st Congregational Church Winchester. She was a Town Meeting member and was elected to the Winchester School Committee 1968-1974, holding the position of chairman for part of her term. During her term, the committee deliberated issues including METCO.