It is with acceptance and gratitude that the McElroy family wishes to tell you of the passing of our mother, Mae McElroy. She slipped gracefully away on the morning of June 19th, in her room, in her home, with all of her children surrounding her.
Margaret Louise "Mae" Callahan was born on May 1st, May Day, 1925 in Fall River, Massachusetts. She was the youngest of the 5 children of Joseph and Margaret Callahan. She was raised in the "Corky Row" neighborhood of Fall River, an area dominated by Irish Catholic immigrants. She graduated from Durfee High School in 1942 and soon afterwards she, along with her mother, took the train across the country and joined her older siblings and father in Los Angeles.
In late 1951 she met Mike McElroy and, after a whirlwind courtship, they were married in May of 1952. They were an extraordinarily devoted couple who brightened the lives of all who shared time with them. After the birth of their first child, they moved to South Torrance in the spring of 1954 and remained in the same home where they raised seven children.
Mae and Mike were original parish members of St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Redondo Beach. Mae was very devoted to her faith and six of her children attended grade school at St. Lawrence. The parish, the Guild and the friends that she and her family made there are precious to all of the McElroy's to this day.
It is impossible to write about Mae without mentioning her son, Matthew. Both Mae and Mike were early and passionate supporters of the Special Olympics and the South Bay Chapter of the Association for Retarded Children on behalf of Matthew. Her passion for Matthew's rights and his potential for a fulfilled life were the defining mission of her life.
She and Mike created a loving, safe and wonderful environment in which their children could grow and flourish. We didn't have everything but we lacked for nothing. Their home was a gathering place for all of their children's friends and that continued to be true as the final days of her life swept by. It was always a home filled with laughter, love, food, music, and books. What Mom would like to remembered for was her family. It was her great work of art.
Mae was a kind, thoughtful, sensitive, loving and very beautiful, mother, wife, aunt, sister, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, friend and finally, Nana to a small universe of people. To be in her presence was to know unconditional love.
Mae was preceded in death by her sisters, Gladys and Rita (Aunt Mike) and her brothers, Ed and John. She also suffered two sudden and tragic losses: the love of her life, Mike McElroy in 1996, and her son, Michael in 2011. She is survived by her children, Patrick (Bonnie), Eileen Walker (Woody), John (Megan), Dan (Pamela), Kevin, Matthew and Michael's wife, Susan Grantham McElroy. Also, her grandchildren, Daniel, Sean, Darcy, Carly, Ian, Bridget, Brendan, Quinn, Duffy, Tess, Scott, Patrick and Katie. She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Joe McElroy, the last of an extraordinary group of Aunts and Uncles.
The McElroy family would like to thank Marina and Norma for their loving support and care for Mae in the last years of her life. We also want to thank the wonderful friends and neighbors who made our mother's life so rich. Finally we want to thank Trinity Hospice Care, especially Lisa and Shirley for their loving attentiveness in the last weeks of her life. Services for Mae McElroy will be held at 2PM on July 3rd at St. Lawrence Martyr Church on Prospect Avenue in Redondo Beach, California. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Special Olympics of Southern California, 1600 Forbes Avenue Long Beach California 90810. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on June 27, 2014