Obituary: Mary Elizabeth Moreshead, 89

Mary Elizabeth Moreshead has been joyously reunited in Heaven with her loved ones and especially her precious baby whose death she mourned for her entire adult life. Our Mary’s untimely death and the pain of her passing is unbearable for those many who miss her so very much. Our Mary was humble and she never realized what a remarkable woman she became. She was born and raised on a farm in Northernmost Maine and she endured much unimaginable hardship. But she also lived through unique experiences that shaped her life. Her father in winter with his horses drove local children on a wooden “school bus” he constructed that had a wood stove inside for warmth. Our Mary was decent, generous and smart. She was intuitive, musically inclined and fearless. She demonstrated incredible grit when push came to shove, but mostly she moved through her life with understated grace motivated always by her deep Irish Catholic faith and wicked good sense of humor. Her brother proudly tells how Mary fearlessly rode his brand new Indian motorcycle — though she was not strong enough to pick it up. Mary and her brothers taught themselves to sing and play the guitar and harmonica. Making music and dancing made her extremely happy throughout her long life. Our Mary devoted her life to raising her large family. She gave up a teaching career to marry her high school sweetheart, Joseph Elmer Moreshead. Joseph and Mary moved to Connecticut where Joseph obtained work. Together they had 12 children. There was a time when Our Mary cared for seven children under the age of seven. She passed to her children her intellect, love for music and her wonderful sense of humor. She played guitar and harmonica for her children and taught them to sing in harmony. She made Halloween costumes, prom dresses and cheerleading uniforms. She knitted afghans, sweaters, scarves and mittens. She was not much of a disciplinarian — that was left for Dad. And she kept some of her children’s transgressions even from him. She was proud of all of her kids and said that each one contributed differently, but equally to her prematurely grey hair. Mary’s 11th baby, Erin, suffered from severe birth defects, a tragedy that had a profound impact on the family. Mary and Joseph heroically shared the responsibility of raising their other children while trying to minimize the prolonged suffering of their new baby girl. They insisted that Erin remain at home with her many brothers and sisters who were fortunate to have had those years helping with her care. Much time was spent singing songs and swimming in the backyard pool. Erin now lives in a group home, has a job and benefits from full-time exceptional care. Our Mary was kind and compassionate. She truly cherished genuine emotional connections and understood fundamentally that sitting over a cup of tea to listen to someone talk was important. She was sought out by her many friends and, not only by her own children, but by her children’s friends, their spouses and their former spouses turned friends, all of whom came for a visit, a cup of tea and some good conversation and advice. More often than not her advice was taken from her favorite band, The Beatles: “Let it Be” she would say — Don’t say words you can’t take back — Just “Let it Be”. Our Mary was not a Saint. But she talked to God every day and devoutly said prayers for those she loved — and more often than not God listened and answered her prayers. Our Mary is survived by her husband of 69 years who was with her when she passed. She is also survived by one brother, “Dick” Brown, of Lubec, Maine and his wife, Christine (“Teeny”), a true sister. She is survived by eleven of her twelve children: Michael Joseph (Diane)of Washington; Dennis Everett (Renee)of Florida; Colleen Mary (Scott Gesner) of Connecticut and Maine; Timothy Paul (Lisa) of California; Kathleen Ann of Florida and Maine; Margaret Elaine (Russell Osborn) of Connecticut and Maine; Maureen Sue of Connecticut; Eileen Erin (Thomas Dinda) of Connecticut; Kelly Catherine (Francis DeFeo) of New Hampshire; Erin Ellen of Connecticut; and Kerry Ann Marie of Connecticut. At the time of her passing, Mary and Joseph had 24 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren; Marjorie (Kevin & Brett & Kurt), Mira (Miranda), Wylie (Henry & Hazel), Cody (Riley & Tannon), Emily, Colin & Daniel & Christopher, Sarah (Madison & Doni), Michael (Taylor & Shelby & Alexis & Camden), Annie (Paige & Bella & Jacob & Willow), Andrew, Betsy, Melissa, Miramanni (Stephen), Kelly (Avery & Reilyn & Shai), Matthew (One on the way!), Keegan (Brady & Brooke), Haley (Everett & Wyatt), Guthrie (Seamus & Emmett & Claire), Cody, Jacob, Gabriel, Derrick & Connor & Rileigh. Mary is also survived by very special friends who were formerly married to her kids and/or the “moms and dads” of her grandchildren including Barbara Sokolski, Susan Schwartz, Julie Crowley, Ginny Cook, David Scranton, Nancy Madore, Lyn Moreshead, Marc Maringola, Eric Mishkin, Michael Martin and Frank Martin. She was predeceased by her son Stephen and granddaughter Rebecca. Our Mary lived a great life. Her legacy of love and compassion, music and laughter — and her spirituality and fearlessness — will live on through her family and friends. Her wish was to have a celebration of her life with a final burial and picnic in Lubec, Maine, her most favorite place on the planet. Plans will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Special Olympics in Mary Moreshead’s name would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. The DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St., Southington has been entrusted with the arrangements. For online condolences please visit, www.dellavecchiafh.com

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