Mary Elizabeth (Fay) Earl, 87, died peacefully surrounded by most of her children on Nov. 13, 2023. Born on Sept. 20, 1936, in Chicago to the late Jerome and Lenore Fay, Mary was the first of four children.
Mary and her husband Floyd Earl were Waller High School classmates in Lincoln Park, Chicago, where they were voted “best personality” and “best athlete” of the graduating class, respectively. They married immediately afterwards and had their first of six children 10 months later.
Floyd joined the United States Air Force, which meant moving the growing clan every few years for almost a decade. They settled in Bedford, allowing Mary to earn a BS degree from the Wellesley College of Nursing and to pursue her long and rewarding career as a nurse.
As Mary and Floyd had intended to have a family of 12, they filled out the ranks with various souls in need of a home for stays both short and long-term living. Mary was also involved in the Catholic Interracial Council movement, took Chinese cooking lessons, had a wry sense of humor. She was also a rabid Cubs, Red Sox, and Celtics fan, and loved a good novel.
Mary and Floyd retired near her sisters in Virginia. With the passing of her husband Floyd, sister Fran Baumann and later her sister Kathy Gavin, she eventually returned to Massachusetts where most of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live.
Mary was a beloved mother and grandmother, great grandmother, colleague, friend, and caretaker to multitudes. Mary is survived by her brother Richard (Duke) Fay and his family and her children, Marie Earl (Peter Skinner), Jerry Earl (Dorrie), Sharon Donnelly (Steve), Ray Earl (Lisa), Margaret Kiley, and Tim Earl (Lena) and her 13 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
Family will gather for burial services on the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 1 in the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon. Friends are welcome to join a celebration of Mary’s life from 5:30 t0 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 at the Nabnasset Lake Country Club, 47 Oak Hill Rd., Westford.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary’s name to the Visiting Nurse Associations of New England, https://www.vnane.org in support of home health services are appreciated.
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