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Maire McLaughlin

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RYE — Maire B. McLaughlin, 74, of Rye, died Friday, Feb. 19, 2010 at home after a courageous, yearlong battle with cancer with her loving husband, Jim, and sister, Veronica in attendance.

Maire was born on June 9, 1936 in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, Ireland, the daughter of Francis and Bridget (Doherty) O'Hehir. After graduation from nursing school and working briefly in Europe, Maire decided to emigrate to California.

She initially lived in Redwood City, where she worked at Sequoia Hospital and became life long friends with Penny Guentherman, Frances Hale and the late Molly Gaylor. After a year in Redwood City, she moved to Santa Monica, where she worked as a head nurse at Santa Monica Medical Center.

Eventually she came east to New York City, where she worked as a nursing care clinician at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. It was in New York City that Maire met her future husband, Jim, at Irish Language class. They were married the following year in St. Vincent de Paul Church in Dublin, Ireland.

While living in New York City, Maire, along with her good friend Shirley Johnson, were active volunteers in the Partnership for the Homeless Shelter and Permanent Housing Program, both at Good Shepherd Church, Manhattan and throughout Harlem.

Maire and Jim were both members and officers in the Co. Donegal Association of New York. Maire was guest of honor at the historic occasion of the Association's Centennial Anniversary.

Maire also served as President of LAOH Division 3 Manhattan, N.Y.C. She was rewarded for her involvement in "things Irish" by being named as aide to the grand marshal in the 1990 Annual New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade march up Fifth Avenue.

After retirement Jim and Maire moved to Jim's family home in Rye. Looking for a sport they could play together, Maire and Jim joined the Strawbery Banke Croquet Club, where they learned the game from two veteran players, Malcolm Austin and Herb Larson. This led to their building a croquet court behind their Pioneer Road home.

Maire and Jim mastered the sport sufficiently to win awards in invitational tournaments held from Maine to Florida. They became members of the United States Croquet Association, the Sarasota County Croquet Club and the National Croquet Center.

During her retirement in Rye, Maire involved herself in the Seacoast Family Food Pantry, the Portsmouth Garden Club, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Rye Women's Club, where she served as President.

Maire along with Jim enjoyed attending aerobics classes at Connie Bean and more recently Spinnaker Point. They also became active members of the County Donegal Association of Greater Boston as well as St. Theresa's Parish.

Survivors include her beloved husband Jim; her brother Martin and his wife Anne in England; her sister Veronica in Dublin; and numerous cousins.

Visiting hours will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Farrell's Funeral Home, 684 State St., Portsmouth. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Theresa Church, 815 Central Road, Rye Beach. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery in Portsmouth.

A reception will be held immediately following services in the parish hall. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Family flowers only. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Seacoast Family Food Pantry 7 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801 or to the Amedisys Hospice Service 95 Brewery Lane Unit 14, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

Gratitude is extended to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Dana Farber and Amedisys Hospice Service for the loving care they provided to Maire.

@Online guest book:Visit www.fosters.com/obits for an online guest book.

Published in Fosters from Feb. 20 to Feb. 21, 2010
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