Mary C. Dowd

August 26, 1933 ~ February 15, 2018 (age 84)

Mary Cronin Dowd 84 died at the Stanley R. Tippett Hospice Home in Needham, MA on Thursday February 15th after a brief but hard fought battle with metastatic kidney cancer. She was born in Springfield, MA on August 26, 1933, the daughter of Paul J. Cronin and Irene M. (Haggerty) Cronin. Mary grew up on Liberty Street in the Liberty Heights section of Springfield with her parents, younger brother David and extended family. She was a graduate of Classical High School in Springfield and St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, CT, where she studied early childhood education. In 1957 she married her eternal love, Lawrence M. Dowd, also of Springfield, and they began their family by lovingly welcoming over the next seven years their three children, Lawrence II, MaryAustin and Deirdre. The family moved to West Springfield, MA, Allison Park, PA, Andover, MA and Rockville, MD, as Larry’s career progressed. Mary taught kindergarten in Springfield before starting her family and later taught at the Bancroft School in Andover. When the family moved to MD, and her husband became ill, what started as respite for her and a way to support her family became a decades-long illustrious career as a leading sales associate in the men’s Polo Department at Lord & Taylor at White Flint Mall, where customers sought her out due to her friendly, cheerful and respectful manner. When she moved back to Massachusetts as a widow, she continued her work for L&T in Burlington and finally in Holyoke. Mary was beautiful, honorable, generous, loving and fun, but unquestionably above all else, she was selfless and caring. She was a devoted mother, a tireless and loving caregiver for her husband Larry during his 13 year battle with cancer, and for the last decade of her life, while enduring her own health challenges, she dedicated her life to caring for her severely mentally disabled brother David at home. Her grandchildren were her greatest joy, and she reveled in every opportunity to be with them and relished hearing of their adventures and accomplishments. She loved all family pets, especially her Russian blue cat, Fionnbharr. Mary was an avid reader and a devotee of daily crossword puzzles, watching professional golf and political news on TV, and traveling to Colonial Williamsburg and to visit family. She was also an accomplished knitter of priceless Christmas stockings and elegant sweaters. Her legacy of love and caring is an extraordinary gift to her family and all who knew her, and we will treasure our memories of her beautiful smile and bubbly presence that lit up gatherings with family and friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Lawrence M. Dowd, her parents, Paul and Irene Cronin, her brother David, and her uncles John, Bernard and Jerome Jr. and his wife Frances. She leaves her adoring children Lawrence M. Dowd II (Diana) of Kennesaw, GA, MaryAustin Dowd (George Calvert) of Scarborough, ME and Deirdre Dowd Levine (Gary) of Needham, MA, grandchildren Niall Cronin Calvert, Kaila Shaelyn Dowd and Colin Lawrence Levine, and a cousin Jerome J. Haggerty III (Lyn) and their children Shawna and Patrick. The family would like to thank relatives, friends and neighbors for their support of Mary throughout these recent challenging years and the devoted caregivers at Stanley R. Tippett Hospice Home for filling her last week with warmth, kindness and serenity. Visiting hours will be from 9:00-10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Toomey-O’Brien Funeral Home 1043 Westfield Street, West Springfield, followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Thomas Church at 11:00 a.m. Burial following the Mass will be at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Springfield. Memorial donations may be made to the Stanley R. Tippett Hospice Home at (A drop down box will allow you to specify the "Tippett Hospice Home.")

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