Mary B. (Doherty) Contalonis

October 2, 2007

Mary B. (Doherty) Contalonis

MARY B. (DOHERTY) CONTALONIS – in Woburn, unexpectedly, October 2nd. Beloved wife of the late George T. Contalonis. Devoted mother of George T. Contalonis, Jr., Mary H. Regan, and Thomas J. Contalonis and his wife Nancy, all of Woburn. Mother-in-law of John K. “Jack” Regan of Woburn. Dear sister of Kay Rybak of Lynn, James P. Doherty of Woburn, and the late Frances McNamara. Loving grandmother of James Contalonis, Carrie Arnott, Kristin Potamis, Thomas J. “Tucker” Contalonis, Jr., Barry Regan and the late Kevin Regan, and grandmother-in-law of Kristy Regan of Woburn. Also survived by 7 great-grandchildren. Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday, October 5th at 8:15 a.m. Funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 9. Calling hours Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Donations may be made in Mary’s memory to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 186 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143.

OBITUARY:

Mary B. Contalonis of Woburn, a longtime member of the Woburn School Committee and advocate for educational excellence in the city, passed away unexpectedly at Winchester Hospital Tuesday, surrounded by her family, after having been stricken late last week. The wife of the late George T. Contalonis, who died in 1984, she was eighty-five years of age.

Mary was born in Charlestown, daughter of the late Thomas and Mary (Doherty) Doherty. She moved with her family to Woburn at an early age and attended St. Charles School, graduating with the Class of 1940. For most of her life she resided in the South End of Woburn.

After working for the Woburn School Department at the cafeteria of the Golden School when her children were young, Mary went to work at Woburn High School, where she served as a matron from 1962 until the early 1970’s.

She maintained an active interest in education in the city throughout her life. When her husband George, a well-loved member of the Woburn School Committee and life member of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, passed away in 1984, Mary ran for his seat on the committee and was elected. Her tenure with the School Committee lasted twenty years until just last year, when she retired to spend more time with her family and friends.

Mary always ran on a platform of quality education, with the concerns of the taxpayers in mind. Over the years she received the accolades of Commissioner of Education David Driscoll on several occasions. She served on the Finance Subcommittee and was an active member of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. Last October, Mary was a recipient of the Life Membership Award from the Mass. Association of School Committees. The prior year Mary was given the Distinguished Service Award by the M.A.S.C. for her years of dedicated service to the Association. This past May, Mary was honored at the rededication of the George and Mary Contalonis Commons at Woburn Memorial High School.

She took special pride in all of the accomplishments of her daughter Mary and sons George and Tom. Her family was her priority, and she took great delight in her grandchildren.

Another passion was her beloved Red Sox. She maintained telephone contact with a host of friends to keep abreast of local news and was always available to drive someone to an appointment or take them shopping.

Along with her husband George, she was preceded in death by her beloved grandson, Kevin Regan, and her sister, Frances McNamara.

Surviving are three children: George T. Contalonis, Jr., Mary H. Regan, and Thomas J. Contalonis and his wife Nancy, all of Woburn, her son-in-law John K. “Jack” Regan of Woburn, her sister, Kay Rybak of Lynn, and brother James P. Doherty of Woburn.

She was also the loving grandmother of James Contalonis, Carrie Arnott, Kristin Potamis, Thomas J. “Tucker” Contalonis, Jr., and Barry Regan, grandmother-in-law of Kristy Regan of Woburn, and great-grandmother of seven.

The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday, October 5th at 8:15 a.m., followed by a funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 9. Interment will follow in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn.

Relatives and friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m.

Donations may be made in Mary’s memory to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 186 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143.

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  1. Mary, Jack and Family,
    I was so very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. She was a wonderful woman with a great sense of humor. You were very fortunate to have her for so many years and she in turn, was very fortunate to have such a loving family. I will keep her and all of you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Warm regards,
    Stacia

  2. Dear Tom and Family,

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sincerely, Mary Spencer

  3. Dear Nancy and Tom, I am so sorry to hear of your mom’s death. We are never ready to lose someone so special and loved. Although it was a shock for you, I am thankful she didn’t suffer and have months and years of pain.
    Tom, I know Nancy and you were always there for her whenever she wanted to go somewhere or needed to have anything done around the house. She could and did call on you and you went. What a gift you gave her, she always knew you were available and giving. May knowing how wonderful she was treated by you and your family ease the pain of her loss.
    YThining of you, Peggy

  4. Moe

    Gram,

    To me…you are MY grandmother!!! I loved spending time with you and seeing you with my boys. When the time comes that I become a grandmother, if I can be half the grandmother you were, my grandchildren with be so lucky!! I will miss your phone calls and I will always be listening!! XOXO

    I Love You and will miss you very much!!

    Love, Moe

  5. ….So while watching the Red Sox Game this evening, I thought of her and “Wally” and it put a smile on my face….most times after talking to Mary-I had a smile on my face, she was a special person.I am guesing that somewhere she was watching the game too-perhaps with Kevin, as she is in a far better place now-a place where she was probably needed more than here. She touched many peoples lives, and now it is time for her to rest- free of pain (her knee doesn’t hurt anymore) She will be missed. God bless her and keep her well, and God bless the family.
    David Carbone & Lori

  6. To the Contalonis and Regan families, I extend my deepest sympathy. As the Uncle of Barry and Charlene Regan I got the chance to know this amazing woman Mary just a little. What a fine wit and and a youthful outlook. One of those ageless people (who are so rare). It was heartwarming to see how much she enjoyed the company of my own mother Sophie. At family gatherings there they would be chatting away (I wonder what about, always in such hushed tones). Another thing that always impressed me was the bond between Mary and her daughter Mary. They seemed to be best of friends on top of being family.
    James Edwards

  7. Susan Nelson
    Dear Tom and family,
    We are so sorry at your Mother’s passing. She was such an amazing woman who I only came to know in her twilight years. Her dedication to the Woburn schools was inspirational. No one would have faulted a woman of her years if she chose to sit back and relax. But no, not your Mother! She was a role model to us all. Your strong family was a joy and comfort to her, that was plain for all to see. We will hold you in our thoughts and prayers while she journeys home to Papa. Take care.

  8. Contalonis family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    The ones we love are never gone, they live within our hearts.
    May you know peace and comfort.
    Mary would want it that way.
    God Bless,
    Charlie & Sandy Culhane

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