Mary Ann O’Shea of Wilbraham died peacefully at home on July 16. She was born in Carlinville, IL on December 10, 1932 to the late John and Mary Kaufman. She resided in Springfield, IL for many years and in Wilbraham for the past 48 years.
After graduating from Sacred Heart Academy in Springfield, IL, Mary Ann worked for the FBI. She was active in the local CYO, where she met her husband, Patrick. They were married on November 24, 1956 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. After supporting her husband’s career and raising their five children, she graduated summa cum laude and received the Monsignor O’Neill Award for Achievement in Religious Studies from College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, where she was a member of Alpha Sigma Omega Honor Society. She also completed a summer program at the C.G. Jung Institute in Küsnacht, Switzerland, and the spiritual counselor program at the Pecos Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, NM. After earning a master’s degree in education at Springfield College, Mrs. O’Shea worked as an Addictions Counselor at My Sister’s House in Springfield and later as the Volunteer Coordinator at the Jewish Nursing Home in Longmeadow.
Throughout her life, Mary Ann developed many interests and talents. She was particularly accomplished in needle arts and cooking, winning second and third place for clothing and textiles and second place for culinary arts at the 1966 Illinois State Fair, and was an avid bridge player. A life-long St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan, in recent years Mary Ann loved watching Cardinals games on the MLB network and keeping score. She also enjoyed traveling, genealogy research, reading, writing and journaling, gardening, and watching wildlife from her back porch. A skilled baker, she was known for delicious and beautifully decorated treats for all holidays, especially Christmas.
Spirituality was very important to Mary Ann. She was active in parish life and, along with Patrick, was instrumental in bringing the Koinonia retreat program to the Springfield, MA area. In 2004, she joined the Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield, where she was an active participant and leader in many activities. Her ability to speak from her heart moved and inspired others.
Mary Ann was predeceased by her parents, her sister Barbara McGee, her husband of 63 years, Patrick, their infant son, John Michael, and grandson, Scott LaPointe. She is survived by her five children: Erin (Benjamin) Rybicki of Sterling Heights, MI; Kelly (Ronald) LaPointe of Warren, MA; Brian (Lynn Duffy) O’Shea of Warren, MA; Kevin (Rebecca) O’Shea of Atkinson, NH; and Peggy (Susan Unger) O’Shea of Troy, NY; 18 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She impressed medical professionals with her youthful spirit and determination throughout her years-long battle with cancer. Her family is especially appreciative of the care and compassion provided by the doctors and staff at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Care Tenders, Baystate Hospice and her primary doctor, Jay Burton of Enfield, CT.
Mary Ann appreciated the art of letter-writing and loved corresponding with friends and family. To honor her memory, please consider writing a letter to a friend or family member you have not seen recently. WIlliamsburg Funeral Home has been with her cremation.