Mary's Story

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Mrs. Mary Eileen Noonan, born in New York City on Sept. 11, 1917, to Irish immigrants William and Anna (McKee) Flynn, died Sunday morning, Jan. 23, 2011, at her home on Montgomery Street in the Village of Cherry Valley. She was 93.
Formerly of Baldwin and Brooklyn, before moving to River Edge then Mahwah, N.J., and again St. Augustine Beach, Fla., she and her husband, Daniel Noonan, decided to spend their final years as active residents of Cherry Valley.
Mary was one of seven children and went on to have seven of her own. Her first husband, Joseph Heim, died in World War II, leaving her with a young son, Joseph. After the war, while working as a secretary in the Empire State Building, she met Daniel F. Noonan Jr., and the two were married May 29, 1947.
Her children remember her as incredibly passionate, talented and artistic, never pretentious, a woman who made herself known without ever being conspicuous. Born in the year that led to the end of the First World War, she suffered personal loss through the 2nd World War and weathered many changes throughout the rest of her life with grace, dignity, determination and humor.
She was born during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency and lived to see 17 presidents in all. The life she saw and led took her through so much of what in 1917, would have been dismissed as impossible, to what today we consider indispensable ... from the great depression through civil rights and into the technology era, she remained steady, adapting and accepting without any obvious change to what made her the person she was. One of Mary’s sons, Fr. Guy Francis Noonan, remembers her home repair prowess.
“There was never a saw or a tool she didn’t know how to use. She was good, not only at home decor, but at home repair. She sewed all her life, our clothes in the beginning, dolls in the end.”
In New Jersey, she and Dan were members of the local Republican club. Her biggest campaign was to get New Jersey to allow children to be bused to Catholic schools. At St. Peters in River Edge, they were fully involved in parish life as well as the Knights of Columbus, raising funds and supporting the Sisters at the local convent. Mary and Dan would host children from the orphanage for holiday dinners at their home and in her spare time Mary was a Den mother for the Scouts.
In Florida they were very active in the Cathedral Parish of Saint Augustine and Saint Anastasia’s Parish. They belonged to prayer groups in both and served in various capacities as ministers, visitors to the sick and volunteers for Saint Vincent De Paul to help raise money to provide services for the poor.
They loved to travel and saw much of the world. They were profoundly moved and motivated by the seemingly miraculous events involving the Blessed Mother in the small Yugoslavian town of Medjugorje and made a pilgrimage to visit the site. This continued to influence their very being throughout their lives. Eileen and Dan, back in their home in Florida, were happy to later host one of the original children (Vicka) who witnessed the apparitions at the site.
Mary learned to live with all the maladies and melodies of her life and turned every disability into ability. To the end she participated in local political and community events and took firm stands against issues such as turbines and gas drilling. She never missed an election and always sent in her absentee ballot. If she had any regrets it would be not living to 100 because she wanted to receive a birthday card from the President.
Mary is survived by her seven children, Joseph Heim of Dover, N.J., and his two sons, Pamela Noonan of Cherry Valley, Fr. Guy Francis Noonan of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mill Creek, St. Augustine, Fla., Gail St. Pierre of Houston, Texas, Pastor Barbara McCoy and her husband, Les, of Apopka, Fla., Gregory Noonan of Cherry Valley and his wife, Joan, and Daniel F. Noonan III and his wife, Kristina, of Campbell Hall. Eileen leaves behind 11 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
She is further survived by her longtime primary caretaker, best friend and unofficial fourth daughter, Vicky Bucklad, of Cherry Valley.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, at St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Cherry Valley, with Fr. Guy Francis Noonan, son of the deceased and pastor ofthe Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel in St. Augustine, Fla., presiding, and Fr. John R. Ross, concelebrating.
Mary will be laid to rest with her beloved husband, Daniel, at a later date in the St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church Columbarium in St. Augustine, Fla.
Mary’s family suggests memorial contributions be directed to Cherry Valley Health Center, c/o Friends of Bassett, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326 or to Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.
Arrangements were under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  February 3, 2011
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