Mary Ahern Mears of
Brighton, Winchester, and Essex, passed away peacefully in her home,
after ninety-one 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
While living in Winchester
(1958-1974) 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.
She was the First Female
elected to Essex Board of Selectman 1978-1986, holding the position
of Chairman for part of her term. She served on Essex Board of
Health and Sewer Study Committee and was Secretary, President and
Area Representative (Essex, Rockport, and Manchester) of Essex
County Selectmen’s Association. Her volunteer activities included,
Friends of Cable Memorial Hospital, Charter Member Essex Citizen’s
Study Group. She was a Charter and Founding Member of the Friends
of the Essex Council on Aging Inc. 1987, Conomo Point Association
past President Ladies Association, Life Member 6th Marine
Division Ladies Auxiliary, Volunteer and Board Member United Way of
Central North Shore and American Red Cross Gloucester Chapter.
She was employed as a
secretary at Chain Belt Co., Cambridge Office, Income Tax preparer
in North Carolina and was Administrative Assistant to the Dean of
Faculty at Simmons College 1968-1972.
She married the absolute
love of her life, born and raised in Essex, David A. Mears (“Mears”)
November 27th 1943 and spent the next 69 years creating a
family who love her so much. Her children, Walter G. Mears,
Eleanor Mears Vyn, Daniel D. Mears (Deceased), Louise Mears Lutts,
wife of Richard W. Lutts Jr., and Barry M. Mears, husband of Susan
Landry Mears will try to see life through her ‘rose colored
glasses’. She leaves her Grandchildren, Laura Mears Hart, married
to Jason Hart of Ipswich, Cynthia Mears Cutter, married to Brian
Cutter of Hamilton, Walter David Mears, married to Heidi Jernegan
Mears of Essex (children of Walter Mears and Evelyn Galvin Mears);
Michael F. Vyn, Katherine E. Vyn, Mary E. Vyn (children of Eleanor
Mears Vyn and Frederick Vyn); Kathryn L. Lutts, Emily A. Lutts
(children of Louise Mears Lutts and Richard W. Lutts, Jr.); Kara E.
Mears, Lauren A. Mears (children of Barry Mears and Susan Landry
Mears). And she leaves Great Grandchildren, Maia Aisha Vyn-McFarlane,
(daughter of Katherine E. Vyn); Olivia M. Hart and William D. Hart
(children of Laura and Jason Hart); Andrew R. Cutter and Irene M.
Cutter (children of Cynthia and Brian Cutter); Laila J. Mears and
Cody G. Mears (children of Walter D. Mears and Heidi Mears). She
also leaves nieces and nephews and many grand and great grand nieces
We may say, live on the way
she would want us to, with generosity and kindness, the strong will
of a Bull and the dignity of an Eagle. And so we shall, because
that sounds like a wonderful way to live.
Private funeral services are under
the direction of the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. In her
memory, she would love you to make a contribution to any of the
following: Mount Saint Joseph Academy Scholarship Fund, 617
Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02134, Congregation of the Sisters of
St. Joseph, 617 Cambridge St., Brighton, MA 02135, Sarah Lufkin
Scholarship Fund, Bank North, 15 Martin Street, Essex, MA 01929, Mr.
and Mrs. L. Dexter Woodman Scholarship Fund, P.O.
Box 81, 127 Main Street, Essex, MA 01929, Pingree School
Scholarship Fund, 537 Highland Street, S. Hamilton, MA 01982, or the
Hospice of the North Shore and Greater Boston, 75 Sylvan St. Suite
B-102 Danvers, MA 01923.