Mary  McMahon's Memorial

Mary McMahon
(1935 - 2007)


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General Details

Name: Mrs Mary McMahon
Maiden Name: O'Connell
Gender: Female
Age: 72 years old
Lived: Friday, 5 July 1935 - Tuesday, 25 December 2007

My Story

I met my husband's mother, Mary McMahon, in August, 1986.  In all of the years that I knew her, I found her to be the gentlest and least judgmental person that I knew.  She always treated me like her daughter and was kind to me.  She was never a nosey annoying mother-in-law.  I always looked forward to her visits from London.  I wish she had visited more. 

Mary always gave me praise for my tastes, my decor, and just about everything I did.  She was very happy with my home and especially my garden.  She always had a kind word to say. If anyone would sit and do little for themselves, Mary would say, "Would you like me to peel a grape for you?"  She also once encouraged me to just up and quit a job that had an annoying boss because she encouraged me to not put up with anything in life that wasn't working out and was unacceptable.  I did it and it did work out, just like she said.

Mary was Irish, and moved to London, England, where stayed for years until her passing.

She was a proud woman, who liked to cook and she made a killer pot of tea and made an omelette like no other!  She was a proud homekeeper and was a good mother to her children, Denise and John.  She gave up full time work to be home everyday to care for her kids and serve them a good meal.  Her children were very important to her.  She loved her soul-mate husband of several decades, and she was devastated when he died prematurely of liver (post colon) cancer in 1995.  She was sad, but she worked hard on keeping herself out of depression by becoming one of the Golden Girls of Golden Lane Estates and worked out, learned Tai Chi, line dancing, etc.  She walked faster and longer than anyone I knew and was a great shopper, but frugal. 

Financially, she was smart.  She worked part time and never had a great paying job.  She saved money where she could, was smart in taking out company stock where she worked and knew that buying her flat in the centre of London would be a good idea.  And the value of it grew exponentially.

She was helpful and gave of herself to others in need.  She was also extremely hospitable to all of her husband's family members.  She gave of herself, but received little in return.  Mary also was very giving and understanding to her mother, who always lived close by to her.

Mary's fatal flaw was her addiction to cigarettes.  She tried to give it up, but it had a major hold over her.   They ended up causing her demise, COPD and Lung Cancer.  She tried an experimental medication, Tarceva, but we never found out if she was on the placebo or the pill.  She bravely fought and faced cancer and after a year and three months of fighting, her little fraile body gave out.  She was surrounded by her two children, John and Denise, who were with her for months.  Denise took the brunt of the work and should be commended for her great love, as John who was there doing much too.  The saddest part was the pain she had to experience and didn't deserve to experience in her life.

Mary was abandoned over time by many friends and her husband's family after her husband died.  When he died, it was part of her old life died too.  She had to re-create herself and her true independent spirit shone through.  Her true friends and children were there in the end to help her through and offer all of themselves.  Thanks to old friends Doreen, Janet and Noreen for true dedication until the end. 

I will remember the good times with Mary, her love of flowers, her great tea, her brightness and spirit, her courage and her positive attitude, etc.  I hope she is at peace now.

Some of the last things she did was look at things on the internet with her daughter, Denise, and long talks.  She enjoyed photos of the dogs and her nephew Jack's daughter. She also embraced the internet in her final months, reading and dictating emails to Denise.  

John and Denise would not like flowers, mass cards or calls.  They would like donations made in Mary's name to the hospice where Mary was at in her final few days.  St. Joseph Hospice in London.  They do amazing work.

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Rest In Peace


Fathers Name: Michael O'Connell
Mothers Name: Mary Ryan
Country of Birth: Ireland
City of Residence: London
Occupation: Other
Marital Status: Widowed
Religion: Catholic


Favourite Sport: Swimming
Favourite Book: All kinds


Place of Passing: St. Joseph Hospice
Date of Passing: 25 December 2007
Cause of Passing: Cancer
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