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Mary P. O’Neill

Mar 13, 2018

After a brief battle with brain cancer, Mary P. O’Neill, 80, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at the Kennebunk Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Kennebunk, Maine.

Mary was born on April 10, 1937 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of Stanislaus C. Kennedy and Ethel A. (Smith) Kennedy. She attended parochial schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan, N.Y. and after moving to Nashua, N.H., she graduated from Nashua High School in 1955. In 1961, she received her Registered Nurse Diploma from St. Joseph’s Nursing School in Nashua. While working as a nurse, she began her baccalaureate studies at St. Anselm’s College, which were postponed for a number of years while she moved throughout the country and overseas as a military wife and raised her two children. In 1976, she moved back to New Hampshire and in 1979, she graduated from Saint Anselm’s College with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. In 1995, she graduated from Regis College with a Master of Science in Nursing Administration degree. She spent the majority of her nursing career working as a Nurse Manager on acute psychiatric units at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Bedford, MA, Lowell General Hospital in Lowell, MA and Tewksbury State Hospital in Tewksbury, MA. In a field notorious for professional burnout, Mary would be the first to acknowledge the work was very demanding but also highly rewarding and she felt especially privileged to care for our country’s veterans. She spent over twenty years as a psychiatric nurse, providing exceptional and compassionate care to her patients until her retirement in 2005.

While Mary had a gratifying professional career, the roles she most cherished were that of mother and grandmother. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren and found great joy in the simplest moments with them such as sharing a steak dinner with her son or gabbing over coffee with her daughter. After her diagnosis, her strong Catholic faith gave her great comfort but she was extremely saddened that she’d miss important milestones in her grandchildren’s lives and thought often of missing her special “quiet time” with her granddaughter. A creative writer, she enjoyed developing stories around her children and grandchildren and took great pride in their accomplishments. She will be remembered as a devoted, loving, proud mama bear and her baby bears will miss her deeply.

She is survived by her daughter, Colleen M. O’Neill and her husband, Kenneth F. Hoose of Alfred, Maine and their daughter Kelsey Hoose and her son, Charles A. O’Neill, Jr. of Nashua, N.H. and his son Sean O’Neill and her brother James J. Kennedy of Manhattan, N.Y. She is also survived by two nieces and four nephews. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brothers William C. Kennedy, Esq. and Reverend Stanley T. Kennedy, M.S. and her sister, Jean A. Kennedy.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, March 16, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Zis-Sweeney & St. Laurent Funeral Home, 26 Kinsley St., Nashua, N.H. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 A.M. on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 29 Spring St., Nashua, N.H. with burial immediately following at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, 102 Derry St., Hudson, N.H. Afterwards, family and friends are invited to the Hunt Club at Hollis Crossing at 300 Bartemus Trail, Nashua for a reception. In honor of Mary’s love of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish, the family encourages the “Wearing o’ the Green” at her service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Information for making online or by mail donations may be found at https://www.stjude.org.