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In Memoriam - A tribute to Mary Margaret Coughlin, a wonderful lady

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Mary Margaret Coughlin
A few weeks ago, the Boston Irish community lost a great friend and activist, Mary Margaret Coughlin (nee Connolly) of the Quinn Clan, originally from Lettermullen, Co Galway. She leaves her son Sean Gannon, her two daughters Peggy and Mary Ann, her granddaughter Niamh, her brother Michael in Milton, her sister Aine in Ireland and countless cousins here. Long before we had centers and outreach programs, Mary Margaret was there to help all who came her way, whether she knew their kin or not. Her wide open front door policy to one and all was a trademark of her heritage. Mary always helped people by giving them a place to rest their head, be sure of a meal, find their bearings, find work and find a place of their own. She was an amazing woman and a font of information and telephone numbers. She knew who to call for job placement and who had surplus household items to fit your first apartment.

We, the Irish, are not known for personal heart to heart, one-on-one conversation, but no one can best us when it comes to extending a helping hand to one of our own in time of need. This is where Mary Margaret excelled and shone. She was involved and active in every fundraiser around Boston for the past 35 years. She organized card games, dances, and community benefits effortlessly. She was never without her envelopes of tickets for different events. She baked bread and made tea, real Irish tea in a proper teapot! She never missed an opportunity to get people involved whether they wanted to or not. Bernard Glassman wrote “When we don’t ask, we don’t let others give. When we fear rejection, we don’t let generosity arise.” Mary Margaret adopted his philosophy and in doing so, let all give generously.

As she lived, she left, surrounded by family and friends and leaving a void and chasm that will be hard to fill. Her family would like to thank all who attended her wake and funeral; the nurses and doctors at Boston Medical Center, Keaney Funeral Home, Father Dan Finn of St Mark’s Church, Father John Mc Carthy and Sisterr Marguerite of the Irish Pastoral Center, Angela Powers, and Dermot and Cindy Quinn of Greenhills Bakery for their overwhelming generosity. To continue to list all the family and friends who showed their respect and sadness would be impossible, but the care shown by Charlene Girvids-Folen, Christine Connolly-Faherty and Seamus Quinn is unequalled. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St Mark’s Church, July 1st at 11 am for Mary Margaret.

Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a h’anam.

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