Mary E. (Mooney) Sutherby

  • Born: February 22, 1931
  • Died: April 22, 2020
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Tel. (781) 665-1949

Tribute & Message From The Family

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Mary by adding your memories.

God called Mary home on April 22, 2020, when she joined her dear Frank, her husband of 65 years.

Mary was born in Malden, MA, loving daughter of firefighter and World War I veteran William Mooney and Julia Cligott; sister of older brother Bill and younger brother John. She attended St. Joseph's School, Notre Dame Academy, and Girls Catholic High School. While she received a scholarship to study journalism at a college in New York, God had other plans for Mary.

After high school, Mary worked at the telephone company, operating a comptometer. There she met three sisters, Mary, Gert, and Rita Sutherby, who would introduce her to their brother Frank in 1950. Among other places, they frequented two houses on their dates, Bob Cousy's house at the Boston Garden and God's House for Wednesday night Benediction and Sunday Mass.

Mary and Frank were married in 1954, and by 1967, they had welcomed ten children into the world. When once asked how many children she wanted, she answered warmly, "As many as God would give me." Mary lived her true calling as a wife, as a mother, and as a child of God. Her family meant everything to her, and she selflessly devoted herself to caring for them, teaching them, and loving them. She somehow managed to keep a house of eleven people running smoothly, preparing nightly meals which all shared together, often infused with laughter. In her calm, organized, and nurturing way, she created an environment where all felt supported and loved.

At the age of 43, Mary decided to go to college and began taking courses at Northeastern University. When her parents started to decline in health, she suspended her studies to care for them, another example of her selfless love for others. She returned to Northeastern's Burlington campus in 1981, majoring in History, and often as commuting buddies with her sons Jim and Dan who were attending Bentley down the highway. At age 54, she graduated in 1985, summa cum laude, receiving the Dean's award for earning grades that ranked her #1 in her major. She had her own cheering section at the Boston Garden as her family proudly watched her receive her diploma.

During the four years she earned her degree, four of her children were married, and she welcomed her first two grandchildren. Her new sons-in-law and daughters-in-law readily became her sons and daughters, and she grew another heart with each grandchild born. By 2000, she had welcomed 14 grandchildren: Jennifer and Catherine Strazdins; Brian and Amanda (Betty) Sutherby; Andrew, Joseph, and Julia Loschiavo; Michael and Danielle Sutherby; Dan Pellegrini; Jaclyn Sutherby; John, Grace, and Elizabeth Marando. All will forever hold on to her generous Grammy Hugs, her welcomed squeezes around the knees, her seemingly perpetual smile, and the caring way she engaged and touched each of them. Last year she was blessed with her first great grandchild, Jason, who brought such joy to her heart.

Through the years, Mary and Frank remained strong in their dedication to their faith and to their families. Mary's brothers and their families were always close to her heart: Bill & Jean Mooney, and John & Thomasina (Tommie) Mooney. Mary and Frank remained close with Frank's siblings and their spouses: Mary & Dan Noonan, George & Estelle Sutherby, Gert & John Marshall, Al & Kathy Sutherby, and Rita & Frank Shaughnessy. Together they raised their large families with love, sharing countless memories at weekend cookouts, card games, weekly dinners, Foxwoods trips (Mary liked the slots), and hundreds of trips, including many to her favorite destination, Bermuda, another world.

Mary was blessed with many gifts and talents, and she used her gifts in service to God and to her family. She was brilliant, humble, compassionate, genuine, and kind to all. She enjoyed being with Frank, an exuberant extrovert and frequent life of the party, while she possessed a quiet inner strength and presence felt in other more subtle ways. She possessed the rare art of being a true listener, and she always had the right thing to say at the right moment. She would be the first to notice if someone in our large family group or at a social gathering was feeling shy or apprehensive, and she'd make them feel comfortable in a personal and nurturing way. She also had a quick wit which could surprise at times, and she shared her generous laugh often.

Among Mary's favorite things were chocolate (especially M&Ms), Kelly's roast beef (with Miracle Whip, not mayo), Lorna Dunes, watching sports (any kind, any time of day), and most especially, a fresh cup of tea ("Ahhh. That's Nice. Ni-i-i-c-c-e", said with a perfect hint of a British accent). Her consumption of M&M's helped The Mars Company reach earnings targets on more than one occasion.

Somehow, while preparing thousands of meals, doing endless loads of laundry, attending classes, and raising her children, she managed to find time to share her many artistic talents. She played the piano beautifully, often during family parties when Frank and his siblings would accompany in song. A gifted seamstress, she made her children's clothes for years, as well as the maid of honor dress she wore at her youngest daughter's wedding. A patient crafter, she hand-made personalized quilts for her children, created hundreds of beautiful embroideries, and sewed dozens of plastic-point village houses which became part of our Christmas tradition. Generous as always, she gave away most of her crafts, many in celebration of weddings and births. She shared her gift of crafting with her daughters, all of whom enjoyed regular craft nights at her house through the years.

Mary was an exceptional writer, and as with her crafts, she shared her gift with others. She kept journals throughout her life which documented the day to day joys as she counted her blessings, as well as the times of sadness, none more heart-breaking than the days and weeks following the death of her daughter, Elizabeth, who passed hours after her birth. She wrote dozens of essays and short stories. She recorded journals of her many travels, including the cross-country trip with the Fab Five of Mary & Frank, Dan & Mary, and Gert. She interviewed each of her nine children following the family's trip to Bermuda in 1977, creating a personalized journal for each that captured their emotions and memories of that unforgettable trip. Academically her pinnacle writing achievement was reflected in her History Honors Thesis: This Dark and Difficult Season: Melrose and Its Women during the Revolutionary Period.

Mary was kind to all she encountered. To cashiers at Shaw's, to custodians at Foxwoods, to wait staff at restaurants, and to nurses at her many doctor's visits, Mary would often say, "Thanks for coming in today." During the last challenging 18 months of her life, Mary was in the hands of countless caregivers at Melrose/Wakefield Hospital, The Residence, and The Elmhurst, as well as many Home Instead and Care Dimensions aides. To all, she shared a welcome smile, a "Hello-Hello", and many many "Thanks for coming in today."

Above all, Mary was enormously proud of her children. She treasured her times with them and often found pure joy simply by watching her children and grandchildren engage with one another. She was the loving mother of Patricia M. Strazdins of Boxford, Kathleen M. Pellegrini and her husband John of Saugus, Rita M. Sutherby of Malden, John J. Sutherby and his wife Jeanne of Burlington, Marie F. Loschiavo and her husband James of Tewksbury, James F. Sutherby and his wife Linda of Tewksbury, Robert J. Sutherby of Saugus, Daniel J. Sutherby of Waltham, and Anne M. Marando and her husband Michael of Wakefield, and the late Elizabeth A. Sutherby. She blessed her children in so many ways, sharing many Mary Pearls of Wisdom and innumerable lessons to live by.

Mary was a saint on earth, devoted to her husband, to her family, and to God. She loved her home, with her favorite spot on the sunporch, sitting at the table with Frank, and with a nice cup of tea. Jesus said, "My Father's House has many rooms. I am going to prepare a place for you, and I will come back and take you to be with me." God has made a room for Mary, where she now sits with Frank on the sunporch, at peace, and forever remaining in the hearts of her family who love her dearly.

Visitation and funeral service are private. A Memorial Mass will be held for Mary at a later time and date that will be announced. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Mary's name to St. Mary's Church, 46 Myrtle St. Melrose, MA 02176.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Hello all. Sorry to hear about mom's death. With all that is going on now I can't imagine how hard it was going thru this. No friends were able to provide support during the service. Been keeping all of you in my thoughts. Stay strong..

Peace Eddie

Posted by edgar strazdins - HAVERHILL, MA - Friend   May 04, 2020

Our sincere condolences to the entire Sutherby family. Margaret and I felt like we won the lottery having moved into the house next door almost 27 years ago. Mary was always kind to us and constantly had encouraging words for us, especially when our children were very young. Honestly, we wished we had the Frank & Mary playbook for raising children! One memory I have is when I was all alone talking to Mary and she looked me straight in the eye and said "I'll make a deal with you". I agreed even before hearing what it was because I knew it would be fair. Then Mary said "I'll say prayers for you if you will say prayers for me". Maybe that was a deal Mary made with many people, but it sure felt special to me. So now I still say prayers for Mary because I truly believe she's still keeping up her end of the deal. May Frank & Mary both rest in peace. -Jeff & Margaret Driscoll

Posted by Jeff Driscoll - Melrose, MA - Neighbor   May 03, 2020

Dear Jim, Linda and the entire Sutherby Family,

Heidi and I are so sorry for the loss of your sweet Mom Mary. What an amazing woman. The obituary tells such a wonderful story about what a special person she was. We hope you find peace that she is in heaven with your Dad and is not in any more pain.

We are so sorry and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Bob and Heidi

Posted by Bob Moffitt - Manchester, NH - Family   April 28, 2020

On behalf of the Almeida family, once again we extend our deepest condolences at the loss of your mother. An extremely tough stretch for the entire family. What a wonderful tribute to your mother. We wish you Godspeed and strength as your mourn her loss.

Posted by Rich Almeida - Stoughton, MA - Family Friend   April 27, 2020

Dear Pat,

I'm very sorry to hear about your Mother's passing. You and your family have experiences so much loss over these past few months. May your memories provide comfort and peace as you move through these difficult days.

With my deepest sympathy, love and prayers,
Jeanne Cleary-Smith, MSJA

Posted by Jeanne Cleary-Smith - Walpole, MA - friend   April 27, 2020

Pat and family, My condolences on the passing of your dear Mother. Her obituary is a beautiful tribute into the generous life of a remarkable woman who enriched the lives of so many people. May you be comforted by the knowledge of your faith that she has started a new life with the God who loves her. Peace, Mike and Arleen

Posted by Mike Bradley - Lawrence, MA - Coworker   April 26, 2020

Hi Pat,
Very sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. Although it's been many years since our wonderful times in Boxford and St. Mary's, we do hold those memories in our hearts. You and your family our in our thoughts and prayers.
God Bless.
Joanne and JJ Green and Family

Posted by Joanne Green - Glen, NH   April 25, 2020

Dear Bob and family,

How extraordinarily blessed for you to have your magnificent mother for so many years! Reading her obituary was a delight, inspiration and hopeful experience. May you be comforted, as she was, in faith, hope and love. Loved sharing stories of coming from families of 11, Bob. May your hearts overflow with wonder and gratitude, as you carry on her everlasting legacy.

Peace and Prayers,

Pat & Dick McConville

Posted by Pat and Dick McConville - Melrose, MA   April 24, 2020

Dear Jim, Linda and Sutherby family. I'm so sorry for the loss of Mary. Thinking of you and wishing you peace, and comfort during this difficult time.
Sincerely, Donna Burns

Posted by Donna Burns - Windha, NH - Family   April 24, 2020

To Jim, Linda and all the Sutherby family our deepest condolences on the sad loss of your Mum Mary. Thinking of you all at this very difficult time. May Mary RIP. Nora, Kevin, Deirdre Cooke

Posted by Deirdre Cooke - Galway, MA - Family Friend   April 23, 2020

Thanks for having me, Mom. Thanks for always replying, Thanks for coming! I loved your usual response. You taught us wisdom. You taught us love. You ignited our faith. So humble. So giving. So loving. I hope you're not uncomfortable receiving the applause of Heaven. You certainly didn't want applause on Earth. That said, your eternal reward is immeasurable. I love you. I am happy you are reunited with Dad and Our Lord in Heaven. Eternally grateful to you. Forever blessed you are my mother. We affirm to God: How Great Thou Art. Rest in peace! <3 bob>

Posted by Bob Sutherby - Saugus, MA - Son   April 22, 2020

The Gately Family and Staff wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable. Please feel free to call on us at anytime as we are always available to you.

Posted by John W. Gately, John H. Gately & Fred Sprague - Melrose, MA   April 22, 2020

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