Mary Theresa Kearns

Passed 07/28/2021

Mary Theresa Kearns

Passed 07/28/2021


Obituary For Mary Theresa Kearns

Mary Theresa Kearns (née Gillespie)

Mary T. Kearns, also known as ‘Mimi’ to her grandchildren and ‘Dottie’ to relatives and close friends, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2021, in Plymouth, MA. She was attended by close family members who were providing her with love and support after a recent illness.

Mary lived her life with grace and kindness, guided by a quick wit. She was the beloved wife of Leo J. Kearns for more than 66 years, the mother of five children, grandmother to eight and great-grandmother to one. She thrived in the company of her family and loved being with her children and grandchildren.

Mary was born in Watertown, MA on September 26, 1931 and grew up and attended school in Dorchester, MA. After graduating high school, she took a sales job at Filene’s department store at Downtown Crossing in Boston. Following that she worked as a secretary at Simon Saw and Steel in South Boston until she married Leo in 1955. The newlyweds bought a house in South Weymouth, MA and set about raising a family.

Mary prided herself on creating a home for her family that included plenty of fresh-baked desserts and a life full of color. During the summers she oversaw her children’s comings and goings at the family’s cottage in Manomet, MA.

Mary was a gregarious woman who always enjoyed meeting new people and made friends easily. Among Mary’s many talents was an uncanny ability to find common ground with strangers (she always called these “coincidences”) and she always exhibited a lively curiosity about the lives of people she met from all walks of life. She endeared herself to all who knew her with an impish sense of humor and a sharp mind that never forgot a birthday, a relationship or a relevant fact.

When faced with adversity, Mary was brave and resolute. During a long-term illness of their third eldest child, she and Leo devoted their time and resources without reservation to the care of Francis Thomas Kearns, who pre-deceased Mary in 1990. Her empathy for his afflictions and loving devotion to providing him with the best of care was a lesson in the power of self-sacrifice to all who knew her.

In addition to her husband Leo of Plymouth, MA, Mary is survived by her daughter Denise Lee Kearns and husband Frederick Witsell of Pawling, NY; and her sons, Joseph Timothy Kearns and wife Linda Krewduk Kearns, Hanover, MA; John Pierre Kearns, Manomet, MA; and Patrick Kearns and wife Dawn Sanseverino-Kearns, E. Bridgewater, MA. She was the proud grandmother of Haley Dolan Witsell, Haverhill, MA; Katharine Towne Witsell, Pawling, NY; Meaghen Kearns O’Flaherty, Abington, MA; Amy Lynn Kearns, Oregon; Shannen Marie Kearns, E. Bridgewater, MA; Julie Kearns Clement and husband William Clement, Oregon; and Cooper James Kearns and Connor Patrick Kearns, E. Bridgewater, MA; and proud great-grandmother of Wesley Clement.

Private services for Mary will be held at 10:30am at Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home, 135 Union St, Rockland, MA on Monday, August 2, to be followed by a private burial at Holy Family Cemetery in Rockland.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in Mary’s name to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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  • To the Kearns. family: We were so sorry to hear of the loss of Mary. We remember her as a wonderful neighbor for many years. The Baird Family

  • Dear John and Family, I have so many fond memories of your parents all those years at Holy Family church. You Mom always had such a beautiful and warm smile for everyone she met. May she rest in the loving arms of our Lord. God bless and my deepest sympathies to all of her family. Fondly, Kathy Botelho Kawa

  • Rod and I send our deepest sympathies to everyone. Mary was a elegant, lovely woman and we always enjoyed spending time with her. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time. Love to all❤️ Cindi and Rod

  • Sweet beautiful Mimi was one of the dearest and loveliest women to walk the face of this earth and I loved her with all of my heart. I was the luckiest woman in the world to have her as a mother-in-law and Patrick even luckier to have her as the loving mother she was. Meaghen, Shannen, Cooper & Connor loved their Grandmother very, very much and are so saddened by her loss but know that those you love don't go away, they walk beside you every day. Unseen, unheard but always near. Still loved, still missed and very dear. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal but LOVE leaves a memory no one can ever steal. Love Dawn & Patrick and the kids.

  • Dear Uncle Leo and family, I will miss my aunt and godmother as I am certain you will also. Condolences and prayers on her passing, but also joy for Aunt Mary living a long life and being loved by so many. While the years and physical distance have kept us apart, you were never far from my heart and thoughts. I fondly remember your attendance at my college graduation from Notre Dame in 1981. Aunt Mary remains with us forever in her family and our hearts. Love from Jim Nash and family.

  • Dear Leo and Cousins: Your wife/mom and mine were good friends, navigating the local in-law position together in the Kearns family. Both named Mary, both used nicknames, and, as married couples, they did their very best to raise their families with love, parental guidance, and a solid foundation, surrounded by extended family at holidays, in good times, and challenging times. John and I send our best to all of you as you adjust to this new phase in your lives. They never really leave you, because their voices and memories will come to you in moments of stress, sadness, happiness, comedy, and all life's other emotions. Love, Katie Dougherty

  • Dear Uncle Leo and Family, We all send our sympathies and prayers as you grieve your loss. Aunt Mary was a lovely woman without a doubt. She often sat quietly but never missed a beat - a witty comment here or there would make everyone laugh! I will remember her graciousness and her smile always. Love from Michelle Kearns Callahan and Family

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