Mrs. Mary E. Devlin

  • Born: March 19, 1934
  • Died: July 17, 2021
  • Location: Stoneham, Massachusetts

Barile Funeral Home

482 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180

Tel. 781.438.2280

Tribute & Message From The Family

A Loving Mother, Wife, Sister, Aunt and friend

Mary Elizabeth Devlin, daughter of Mary and John Bowman was born on March 19, 1934 in Medford. She was the middle child, sandwiched between her older brother John and her younger brother Tom. Her father was a pressman who would often work the overnight shift. Sometimes, on fine spring days, John would
come home from his shift at the paper and declare that everyone was playing hookey, then he would sweep his family off on the trolley to Revere Beach, where they would ride the ferris wheel and swim in the ocean. It is easy to see where Mary learned her lifelong skill of finding joy in everyday life and her love of
impromptu adventure.

When she graduated from high school, Mary got a job working as a telephone operator for Bell Telephone, working on a long switchboard with many other girls. She loved taking the T into the city to work as a young, professional woman. Around this time, she met Tony Mucci, a charming looker who swept her off her feet. While this marriage was not destined to last very long, they did have four beautiful children. After they divorced, Tony moved away and Mary's
indomitable strength surfaced as she raised four children as a single parent. Daughter Nancy remembers Mary taking the little ones on the 'hanging bus' out to Lynn to visit Grandpa John at his pressman job at the Lynn Daily Item, introducing family adventures to a whole new generation. Oldest daughter Donna remembers receiving a bicycle when she was in the first grade, and how strong and independent she felt because she was allowed to ride all around
their housing complex on her own. Mary understood that people needed to be given a chance to succeed, and she encouraged her friends and family to try new things and to believe in themselves - she always knew that you could do it.

When her brother Tom returned from his service in the US Navy, he brought fellow veteran, John Devlin, around. John fell hard for the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He wooed her and, eventually, won her heart. They married and soon after moved to Wakefield, adding three more children to the family over the next 15 years. Mary and John were married for 20 years before separating. Across the course of her life, Mary wore many hats - she was a homemaker whose entrepreneurial spirit drove her to create a successful cake decorating business - it was never surprising to open the freezer to find hundreds of miniature purple pansies stacked on wax paper, ready to decorate her latest commission. She was an artist and a teacher whose cakes were stunning and delicious. Her son, Jim, loved watching her create perfect little replicas of fruit and flowers with painted marzipan. Her cooking skills didn't end with cakes - she baked her
own bread (everyone remembers the round bread baked in coffee cans that all of her children took to school each day) and made the most amazing meatballs in the world. She invented the smooshed meatball sandwich, and made homemade pizza every Friday night for dinner. Her daughter, Nancy, thought she was a magician when she turned round eggs into fluffy scrambled goodness. She had learned thrift and careful budgeting from her mother, and saved tons by
sewing and repairing clothes and taking careful care of house and home while raising seven children. With such a large family there was always something to do - heaven help the child who made the mistake of complaining of boredom. "The baseboards always need washing," Mary would say, handing the child a sponge and a bucket of warm water mixed with Murphy's Oil Soap. Nobody ever complained of boredom twice!

She went back to school and became a Licensed Practical Nurse, her kind heart and healing hands were well suited to this profession. As the course of her life changed, she traded hands- on practical nursing for the challenges of managing a chiropractic office, and her administrative skills carried her through the rest of her working life, with work at a biotech firm, a bank, and in the travel industry. Through it all, Mary maintained a strong work-life balance that allowed her to
engage in a wide variety of interests. She was a member of a synchronized swimming team at the Wakefield YMCA, sewing her own costumes and spending hours perfecting the beautiful and graceful routines her team created together. She loved to travel, everything from a drive up
the coast to Rockport to spending time exploring the Irish countryside with her best friend, Mary Young. A particularly favorite trip was a cruise to Mexico with her daughter Nancy and the whole Rodrigues family.

More than anything else, Mary made people feel loved. She accepted each person for exactly who they were, loving them and supporting them without question. Her love was a gift she gave to everyone in her world, without reservation. She listened without judgement, and offered support without hesitation. Those who were lucky enough to know her in life can carry the warmth of her love in their hearts forever.

Mary passed from this world on July 17, 2021 from a sudden illness. She will be joining her daughter, Kathy, in the next world, and she will be lovingly remembered by her surviving children Donna, Nancy, Christopher, James, Maureen and Bridget, her grandchildren Samantha, Donald, Sarah, David, Brian, Nikki, Edward, Allison, Brandon, and Alexis and her great grandchildren Max, Isabella, Ariana, Ryan, Stephen, and Alyssa. Mary will be buried in a
private ceremony at Lindenwood Cemetery in Stoneham and a memorial celebration for family and friends will be held at Harrington's in Wakefield on Sunday, July 25th between 2:00 and 5:00