Mary Ellen Boland Quinn, a bright star in the lives of her family and friends, passed away peacefully in Newport Hospital, Rhode Island, on Tuesday, March 1st, 2022.
As a member of the Greatest Generation, Mary became a war bride when she married Terrence Quinn, an Army Captain who fought in the 100th Infantry Division in France during World War II. After the war, the couple made their home in the Pinecrest neighborhood of Pawtucket, RI, where they raised their daughter, Maureen, and son, Patrick.
She was born November 21, 1919, in Central Falls, RI, to Peter and Laura Reagan Boland. She is survived by her daughter, Maureen Mulvany and son-in-law, Dr. Terence Mulvany of San Diego; her son Patrick Quinn (Anna Maria Virzi) of Newport, RI; sister Catherine Alfano; grandchildren, Kerri Mulvany Gutekunst (Brent), Kenneth Mulvany, and Kristie Mulvany Lyons (James); great-grandchildren Daxton Gutekunst and Elleaire Lyons; and numerous nieces and nephews from the Boland and Quinn families.
Mary was predeceased by her beloved husband, her parents, her sister (Helen Turrene) and her brother (Edward Boland).
Known for her energy and sense of style, Mary Quinn always made an entrance. From the time she was young, she excelled in singing and dancing, and was featured in school recitals and on the radio. She enjoyed all genres of music from opera to jazz to Irish music. She loved ballroom, tap and Irish dancing, especially to live performances by Irish accordionist Fintan Stanley. Ever glamorous, Mary had an eye for fashion and dressed to the nines. She had weekly visits for hair styling with her lifelong friends Helmut and Libby Towe.
A trailblazer, Mary balanced family life while she thrived in the workplace. She started her career as a marketing assistant at J.P. Coats Thread Mill in Pawtucket. She went on to work in industrial production for Jade Manufacturing and quality control for Texas Instruments. In the 1980s, she helped manage her daughter Maureen’s antique shop, Stock & Trade, in Portsmouth. She later brought her extensive knowledge of antiques and collectibles to the Eagle’s Nest, also in Portsmouth, where she worked until the age of 95.
Born in Central Falls, Mary was a parishioner of Holy Trinity Church in Central Falls and then St. Leo’s Church in Pawtucket. She was also active in the St. Raphael Academy Ladies Auxiliary. Truly an inspiration to all who knew her, Mary received a Centenarian citation from the Town of Bristol and the State of Rhode Island in 2019, when she turned 100 years old.
The family would like to thank the staff at Franklin Court Assisted Living and the many friends who remained in close contact with Mary throughout her many years. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church, Bristol, on Saturday, April 2nd at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mary’s name to Franklin Court Assisted Living in Bristol, RI.