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North Haven Funeral Home, Inc.
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North Haven, CT 06473-2309
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MARY DUFFY COGNETTA MORRISROE

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MARY DUFFY COGNETTA MORRISROE Obituary
MORRISROE, MARY DUFFY COGNETTA Mary Duffy Cognetta Morrisroe, formerly of North Haven, Connecticut, died peacefully on July 4, 2014 at the Medical Center of Princeton with her husband and one of her daughters by her side. She was 88. She was the devoted wife of Francis M. “Bud” Morrisroe to whom she was married for 37 years. For the last two years they made their home at Stonebridge, in Skillman, New Jersey. Mary was born in Sharon, Connecticut on December 7, 1925. One of six children, she grew up on a farm in Amenia, New York where she attended a one-room-schoolhouse. Her Irish immigrant parents, the late Henry and Margaret Lynch Duffy, worked at Troutbeck, the summer estate of the Spingarn family where Henry was superintendent. She graduated from the St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in New York City and served as a cadet nurse during WWII. She pursued her vocation for nursing in a professional career that spanned more than 40 years, opening opportunities for her to explore the diversity and excitement of the world beyond Amenia, taking her from cruise ships to private duty cases to hospital staff to nursing home and visiting nurse positions. In her last post at the Jewish Home for the Aged in New Haven, she was guided by her conviction that each resident was blessed by the wonder and uniqueness of his or her own life’s story. She showered her patients with kindness, tenderness and respect. She combined her nursing career with what was to become the most important work of her life, raising a family of six children. Her instincts as a mother were unerring. She encouraged and inspired each of her children in a firm and loving manner, never judging, anchoring them securely in their own lives. A devout Catholic throughout her life, she was a member of the St. Barnabas Parish in North Haven, CT. She taught in St. Barnabas’ religious education program and she served on its altar guild. Along with her husband Bud, she was a member of the Irish Club of New Haven where she participated in the club’s annual Feis and taught the art of baking Irish Brown Bread. While a student in New York City in the 1940s, Mary attended concerts and the opera which led to a lifelong love of classical music, a gift she passed along to her children and grandchildren, many of whom are accomplished musicians. She loved to sing and the sweetness of her voice, especially when serenading her children, was unforgettable. She read the New York Times cover to cover every day. The volumes of poetry and meditations she also read daily helped reinforce her deep faith in the goodness of the world. She was a splendid cook and baker, collecting and sharing recipes and cookbooks and taking great pleasure in family parties featuring her wonderful food. She was renowned among family and friends for her prize-winning Irish brown bread, featured recently at MarthaStewart.com. Throughout her life, Mary helped countless friends and acquaintances by gently sharing her friendship, wisdom and trust in God to support them through life’s challenges. She was a “life-coach” long before the term was coined, acting as a sounding board and providing practical advice, encouragement, material assistance as well as unconditional love to anyone lucky enough to cross her path. In later life, with her husband Bud, she traveled the world, visiting Ireland ten times and touring the major cities of Europe and Russia. She and Bud also spent many happy vacations, often with grandchildren in tow, traveling in their converted Greyhound bus to bluegrass music festivals around the country where Bud performed. Mary summered in Greensboro, Vermont at her daughter’s home on Caspian Lake, the site of many family gatherings. She walked daily at a vigorous pace and especially loved the trails she discovered along farm fields and streams in North Haven, the hilly dirt roads of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, and the wooded paths behind Stonebridge. Mary is survived by her husband Bud Morrisroe and her children and their spouses: Barbra Cognetta of North Haven, CT; Meg Cognetta Heaton and her husband Murray P. Heaton of Geneva, NY; Armand B. Cognetta Jr. and his wife Suzanne Doumar Cognetta of Tallahasse, FL; Melanie Cognetta Clarke and her husband John K. Clarke of Princeton, NJ; Alyce Cognetta Bertz and her husband Gary Bertz of Southbury, CT; and Gabrielle Ruf of Southport, CT. Mary leaves 23 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews whose unfolding lives she followed with keen interest and delight. She reserved her most fervent prayers for each of them. Mary’s stepchildren, Michael Morrisroe, Terry Ann Bartlett and Gail Schopick also survive her as do her sister Alice Page, brother Joseph Duffy and sister-in-law Barbara Duffy. Besides her parents, Mary was predeceased by her first husband, Armand B. Cognetta, MD, her brothers John and Francis Duffy, her sister Margaret Erskine Quinn, her son-in-law James Ruf and her grandson-in-law Bruce Van Arsdell. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, July 10 at 11:00 AM at St. Barnabas Church, 44 Washington Ave, North Haven CT. Interment will follow at All Saints Cemetery. Calling hours will precede her burial mass on Thursday, July 10, from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM at The North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Ave, North Haven, CT. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Barnabas Church or to a charity of one’s choice. www.northhavenfuneral.com
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Published in The New Haven Register on July 9, 2014
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