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Mary Teresa (Hegarty) Coleman

Mary Teresa (Hegarty) Coleman
  • February 11, 1929 - February 25, 2012
  • Andover, Massachusetts

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Memories & Candles

“I'll always remember her wonderful smiles, infectious laugh and sense of humor.She had a true zest for life and deep love for her family and friends....Read More »
1 of 22 | Posted by: Amy Hodges - Golden, CO - friend

“Mary, You were the kindest person I have ever known. You epitomized grace and generosity of spirit. I was so incredibly fortunate to have been...Read More »
2 of 22 | Posted by: Richard Percival - Andover, MA, MA

“Mom,Nothing captures your essence more than the eulogy written by your three daughters. It was a beautiful and touching tribute to you! We all know...Read More »
3 of 22 | Posted by: Fran Coleman Jr - Wellesley Hills, MA

“Mom, I am very sad that I will not see you on this Earth but I take comfort that you are with Dad again. I know that you will both watch over me...Read More »
4 of 22 | Posted by: DIane Lee - Portland, TX

“Frank. My heart felt condolences to you and your family. She was a sweet lady. The eulogy was touching. Lets all hope there is a better place . I...Read More »
5 of 22 | Posted by: joe malloch - windham, NH

“Dear Nana,I will never forget your gentle spirit. You would always remind me, as well as teach me how to act like a young lady. Even at such a young...Read More »
6 of 22 | Posted by: Kathryn Graziano - Phoenix, AZ

“Franny, Carole, Nancy and Diane, I have such special memories of your mom. Her laugh would always bring a smile to my face. I remember so many...Read More »
7 of 22 | Posted by: Casey (Dorsey) Gardner - Denver, CO

“To Carole, Nancy, Dianne and Little Frannie:My deepest condolences for the loss of your mom, Auntie Mary. As others have expressed, she was a gentle,...Read More »
8 of 22 | Posted by: Patti Brosnan O'Neill - Andover, MA

“Aunt Mary We will all miss you very much. you were such an amazing person and would do anything for any one. i remember we would all go to your...Read More »
9 of 22 | Posted by: kathy hart - sagamore beach, MA

“To Mary Theresa's Family, What a lovely tribute to your Mom. I fondly remember Friday nights at Loring St.. Your Mom and Dad, Uncle Jim would...Read More »
10 of 22 | Posted by: Patricia Lee Loughman - Stoneham, MA

“Dear Carole,Franny,Nancy & Diane When I think of your mother I immediately think of a lovely lady with a heart of gold and a fun personality to match...Read More »
11 of 22 | Posted by: Mary Graziano - Concord, NH

“Dear Mom:Our hearts are so sad and we will miss you forever. Our family gatherings will never be the same again without you with us. You were a...Read More »
12 of 22 | Posted by: Carole Graziano - Scottsdale, AZ

“What a lovely tribute to your mom, Fran, Carole, Nancy and Diane. I have so many memories of growing up with the Colemans. Your mom was just like a...Read More »
13 of 22 | Posted by: Debbie Mitchell - Corpus Christi, TX

“To Carole and family,In the last two years I had the pleasure of spending more time with Carole who often spoke about her mother. Thank you for...Read More »
14 of 22 | Posted by: Esther Bar - AZ

“Nana, Everything in that has been said here is true. You were the kindest, gentlest soul and the quiet foundation for this amazing family. You are...Read More »
15 of 22 | Posted by: Michael King - CO - Grandson

“What a heartfelt, beautiful tribute to a very special "Lady" in all our lives!!! Brought back so many memories of our childhood as we all grew up in...Read More »
16 of 22 | Posted by: Florence&Jeanne Armstrong - MA

“Diane, Carol and Nancy, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Mom. I know from all the stories Diane used to tell me and just by being around...Read More »
17 of 22 | Posted by: June Yon - Salisbury, NC - Friend

“This is a beautiful written tribute to your mom, my aunt. I want to express my sincere sympathy for we will all miss Aunt Mary. I am so happy that...Read More »
18 of 22 | Posted by: Tricia (Bryan) Elassy - natick, MA

“Carole, I want to extend my condolences to you and your family. I was mesmerized reading the wonderful story of your mother's life, thank you so...Read More »
19 of 22 | Posted by: Ruth Ann Goodspeed - San Antonio, TX

“What a beautifully written tribute to Mary. We are so sorry for your loss but all feel very blessed that she was in our lives. She was truly one of...Read More »
20 of 22 | Posted by: Nicole King

“Carole and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. The memory of your mother's life that was written was truly wonderful to read. What a...Read More »
21 of 22 | Posted by: Mark Scarano - Scottsdale, AZ

“Dear Mom, We will all miss you terribly, but we find comfort knowing that you are now in the arms of Dad. May God bless you and rest in eternal...Read More »
22 of 22 | Posted by: Nancy Percival - Andover, MA

Mary Teresa Coleman
February 11, 1929 – February 25, 2012

Our mother Mary Teresa Hegarty was born on February 11, 1929 in Somerville, Massachusetts to first generation Irish American parents, Jeremiah Hegarty and Catherine "Kitty" Lee. She was their 3rd child and the 1st girl raised in this humble, hardworking, and honest family.

Our mother Mary was born at a time when many world events and many "firsts" were occurring: it marked the end of the Roaring Twenties after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 ushered in the Great Depression. Herbert Hoover was inaugurated as the 31st President. We were introduced to color TV when the very first images transmitted were a bouquet of roses and an American Flag. 1929 gave us the 1st Academy Awards in Hollywood, and Admiral Byrd and his crew became the first to fly over the South Pole. Finally, Mussolini agreed to recognize the sovereign status of the Vatican under Pope Pius XI.

While all of these events had worldwide significance, in our opinion, none could compare to the impact Mary Teresa made on our world with her precious smile, her gentle spirit, and her perpetual love for family and friends.

Mary lived in Somerville her entire childhood. She was raised in a family of 5 children - James, Francis, Paul, and Ann. Her extended family consisted of the Lee clan – her Irish born grandparents James and Hanora, Aunt Mary who was almost as close to Mary Teresa as her own mother, Aunt Margie, and her Uncles Joe, Bill, Tom, and David. Aunt Mary used to take our mother to NY for day trips and she sent her to summer camp in Billerica which helped her grow up with positive childhood experiences. Mary was a diligent student and an extremely proud graduate of St. Clements High School. On the back of the program you received today, you will see our mother's high school graduation photo which shows how very beautiful and poised she was as a young woman. After high school, she worked at an administrative job in Boston, and she immensely enjoyed the company of many dear friends as they danced, went to fun beach parties, and took day trips to see the world outside of MA.

One Friday evening in 1948, Mary met her soul-mate Frank Coleman when he asked her to dance and she said yes. It was not too long afterwards that they fell in love and married on April 15, 1950. It was a time when the Korean War was underway, and not very long after they married, our father was drafted and sent off overseas to fight in the war. With Frank away, the Coleman's invited her to move into their household, and it was during this time that she developed strong lifelong relationships with my father's parents Dennis and Margaret, his Aunt Annie, and siblings Anna, Eddie, Florence, Richie, and Sonny.

Mary gave birth to her firstborn child, Francis Junior, and soon after came Carole, Nancy, and Diane. What a household we had! Music, trips to Cape Cod, summer camps, vacations pulling a travel trailer around the country, and most importantly great emphasis on school, education, church, and family time together. Our mother was a devout Catholic and she ensured we were raised with spirituality and faith.

Our mother and father, Frank and Mary, always had time for each other and their marriage lasted for 60 years. Despite the challenge of raising 4 children, they enjoyed world travels together to Aruba, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, and all over the USA and Canada. One year back in the 1970's, Mary took a trip to Ireland with the "girls" and came home with many memorable stories to tell us.

Trying to recap the essence of our mother is easy to do – she was truly a saint in all ways. She loved her family and friends unconditionally. She never had a bad word to say about anyone and she would tell us "if you can't say something good about someone, don't say anything at all." She was extremely generous of her time and attention to making others happy. Mary was an exemplary hostess and cook and loved having gatherings at home with lots of wonderful food and music. She played the organ for many years and we would always listen to her play holiday songs, from Christmas carols to Fourth of July songs! In later years, she switched to the piano then even played the banjo! She never took music lessons; she always said that she played by her ear. And, could she play! She opened her home and her heart to all she loved. It was not about impressing anyone – she just truly loved having dear ones over to enjoy being together. This carried over into our adulthood as we continued to hold family gatherings and we vacationed together for many years – Aruba, AZ, TX, and most of all at their home on Cape Cod. Our Mom and Dad loved it when there was a houseful of people at their home in South Dennis. We would have big surf & turf dinners out back on their patio, drink beer and smoke cigars – although Mary did not like lobster, beer or the cigars, she did enjoy watching us indulge and then she'd suggest we get a Smuggler's ice cream for dessert!

Our mother Mary was the quiet strength of our family – she was content to sit in the background while others took center stage but she was never a shadow. When she voiced her opinion, we all listened, including my father! She never complained about anything. Even when she was suffering with many ailments in her later years, you would never hear anything but "Oh I am ok don't worry about me…" She had the gentlest of spirits and the biggest heart of us all.

Mary loved her grandchildren – Michael, Bryan, Matthew, Kathryn and Christina, and her great-grandchildren Ethan and Charlie. She was so