Mary A. Preston

Mary A. Preston

April 24th, 1934 April 25th, 2020

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Obituary for Mary A. Preston (McGrath)

PRESTON, Mary Alice (McGrath.) Age 86, formerly of Arlington and South Yarmouth, died in Concord, Mass. on Saturday, April 25, 2020 from Covid-19. For 62 years, beloved and cherished wife of Eugene Joseph Preston. Devoted mother of five children: Jennifer Preston and her husband, Christopher Conway; Ann Sumner and her husband, Peter; Joseph Preston and his wife, Caren Kenney; Deirdre Richardson and her husband, Jim; Mark Preston and his wife, Meredith. Adored and proud grandmother of 11 grandchildren and a great grandchild: Ryan, Kelly, Grace, Matthew, Sean, Devin, Dani, Timothy, Owen, Catherine, Conner and Madelyn. Mary grew up in Newry, Northern Ireland, and moved to London to find work on her 21st birthday. She met Eugene, known as Joe, at an Irish dance hall. He had also moved to London for work after serving in the Irish Army. They married in 1957. A year later, with their first child, they boarded the RMS Mauretania II and arrived in New York on December 20, 1958 with a $100 and determination to achieve the American dream. Three years later, they had saved enough money to buy a two-family home in Arlington, where they raised their children and lived for almost 40 years. While Joe worked two jobs and studied for engineering licenses that led to a career at Boston Edison, Mary ran a tight ship at home. She set high expectations for her children. She instilled her strong worth ethic and emphasized the importance of good character, particularly the values of integrity, honesty, courage and “always doing the right thing.” Mary’s own formal education ended in the eighth grade. Yet she was known for her fierce intellect. She prided herself in being highly informed about the issues of the day. She was passionate about keeping up with current events, especially news about politics. She read The Boston Globe every morning and watched CNN from dawn till night. Displaying incredible tenacity, Mary successfully pushed through multiple serious health problems since 2008. The family is deeply grateful for the excellent medical care she received over the years from the staff at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The family is also grateful to the devoted team of nurses and certified nursing assistants at Rivercrest Rehab and Nursing at Newbury Court in Concord, Mass. Keefe Funeral Home in Arlington is handling arrangements. Burial services are private. A Roman Catholic Mass will be held at St. Agnes Church in Arlington later in the year. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Mary's name may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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Service Details

  • Interment

    Thursday, April 30th, 2020 |
    Saint Paul's Cemetery
    Arlington, Massachusetts
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Thursday, April 30th, 2020

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Ed McGrath

Dear Jennifer.
So sorry to hear of Mary's death. She was a real character and you will all miss her. It was always a joy to see her, the last time being in Newry over 5 years ago.
Take care all.
Ed McGrath
Comment | Posted at 08:43am via Condolence

Glen Preston

Dear Uncle Joe and Family,
So sad news to hear of Auntie Mary's passing. Please accept our condolences. She and all of you are in our prayers.

Love Glen, Patty, Glen Jr., Morgan, Jared and Aiden.
Comment | Posted at 07:21am via Condolence

Julie Madden

Dear Uncle Joe and cousins,
Please accept our condolences on the loss of Auntie Mary. I have great memories of you all. God Bless you all. Love Always, Julie, Kevin Cody and Ryan
Comment | Posted at 09:58pm via Condolence

Sean A McCarthy

Please accept our sympathies for your family’s loss. Your Mothers life is a beautiful story which is an inspiration to my own family in these trying times.
“I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all
Good night and joy be with you all.”
Sean A. McCarthy

Comment | Posted at 09:46pm via Condolence

karen l papagni

To Jennifer and family,
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you during this difficult time. I remember your mom fondly. MY deepest sympathies to you all
Karen Fitzpatrick Papagni
Comment | Posted at 10:09am via Condolence

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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