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Mary C. “Bunny” Flaherty

Mary C. “Bunny” Flaherty, 89, died peacefully Friday, February 12, 2021 in the Lahey Medical Center, Burlington surrounded by her loving family. She passed due to complications following a heart procedure, one month shy of her 90th birthday. She was “sharp as a tack.”  Mary was a long-time resident of Oak Hill, where she had many dear friends and where they enriched each others lives.

Born in Englewood NJ on March 20, 1931, on the first day of Spring, she was the daughter of the late Edward B. and Mary I. (Malcolm-Smith) Childs. Raised in Teaneck, NJ, she was the Class Athlete of Teaneck High and moved on to play lacrosse at Sargent College (BU) while earning her bachelor’s degree in physical education. After raising a family and moving to Ipswich in the mid 60’s she worked for several years at Towle Silversmiths Newburyport. Then her dream job came along, and she went to work as an elementary gym teacher in Newburyport, from which she later retired. Bunny was also a thirty-year fixture at Riverview Pizza in Ipswich, where she remembered your name and greeted you with a joke. She is warmly remembered for the soft spot in her heart she had for the kitchen workers, many of whom considered her a second mom. She always said that one of her greatest joys in life was working side by side at the Riverview with her daughter Jean.

Her passion was sports and the competitive spirit. She loved going to and never missed one of her grand children’s games. Bunny also loved to watch her son coach and also enjoyed following the players on his teams. When Ted coached Ipswich to a Super Bowl title in 2006 she was in her glory, ecstatic for her son, the team and the town. Mary loved her church, the Ascension Memorial Church in Ipswich. She was baptized there, married there, and had the pleasure of watching her children and grandchildren get baptized, and son and daughter-in-law get married there. Rev. Clark was very instrumental in providing peace and religious fullness to Mary as she aged.

Bunny also loved to knit. She was an avid reader and loved golfing and bowling. She lived a full and happy life. Her favorite expression to live by was “Oh Happy Day!”  

She is survived by her daughter, Jean Flaherty of Ipswich; her son, Ted Flaherty and his wife Leigh of Ipswich; her beloved grandchildren, Teddy Mullins of Amesbury, Cally Flaherty of Gloucester, Eddie Flaherty of East Boston and Patrick Flaherty of Ipswich and  her beautiful great granddaughter, Briella Mullins of ME. She is also survived by nieces and nephews, Robbie Childs and his wife Carol of NY, Heidi Bluteau of NJ, Jimmy Childs of FL, Connie Childs of NJ as well as her cousins, Joan Williams of Ipswich and David Beckingham and his wife Coralie and their daughter Emily all of Rowley.

In addition to her parents, Bunny was predeceased by her brother, Bob Childs and his wife Helen; her former husband, Edward W. Flaherty; her long-time loving companion, Frank Guerriero; her nephew Tom Bluteau and niece, Lise Bluteau.

Family and friends are respectfully welcomed to visiting hours 4 to 7 pm Friday February 19 in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich. Due to COVID restrictions facial masks and social distancing will be required. A memorial service and a celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Ascension Memorial Church, 31, County Street, Ipswich, MA 01938.

My name is Mary Barbara Flaherty. Awaiting my birth, mom was looking out her kitchen window at a cute little rabbit skipping by and thought ‘our little Bunny will be here soon’. From the first time I wiggled my nose I was called “Bunny”.

Though I was born in New Jersey, Ipswich has been my home since 1966. I was a tomboy – very athletic. Never got asked to a prom. A boy friend told me I was too fat and wore glasses, but I was the first to be picked by the boys to join in a scrimmage game.

Thinking I was a pretty good athlete I went to Sargent College/BU for the Physical Education Program. Those girls were like Olympic Champions compared to me….a BIG come-down.

My life revolves around Ipswich. I shop locally to support local businesses. My car gives me freedom. I call it “Grandma’s Taxi”. My two kids, Ted, the football coach, and Jean, a Riverview long-time employee are “townies”. I attend all football, basketball and baseball games to watch my kids and grand-kids play.

I never travel except in my car. Once I made a down payment for a trip to Italy ($900). Terrorists took over the airport with machine guns (thank God). I have a terrible fear or flying….what if the pilot has a heart attack!!

Love, love, love my apartment, family heirlooms and family pictures. They’re everywhere from the Civil War to the present. I love to cook (am always wearing an apron), I collect recipes, though friends and family say ”No Baked Desserts” (I’m not a good baker). I enjoy knitting, reading in bed (murder and mayhem), bowling, poker, bingo and QVC shopping. Yes, I’m a late riser, but still always manage to put in a full day.

M Flaherty 2013

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