Mary Louise O'Sullivan

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Waterford - Mary Louise (Smith) O'Sullivan of Waterford passed away peacefully at her home on Nov. 2, 2010. She was the beloved wife of the late John O'Sullivan, loving mother of the late Joan O'Sullivan of Annapolis, Md., Nancy O'Sullivan and her husband, Ned Hammond, of New London, and Robert and his wife, Adriana, of Sharon, Mass., cherished grandmother of Gabriel Freda, Colleen Burt, Sandra and Robin O'Sullivan, Jesse, Noreen, and Kathryn Hammond; dear sister of the late Cedric Smith of Indianapolis, Ind., the late Maybelle Solenberger (Smith) of Springfield, Ill., and the late John Smith of Fairfield. She is also survived by niece, Mary Solenberger Almasi and nephews, James Solenberger and Douglas Smith.

The daughter of Wilber and Elsie (Fruits) Smith, she was born on Oct. 30, 1912, in the farming community of Waynetown, Ind., where she was raised to be a good Christian woman. She moved with her family to Indianapolis where she graduated from Arsenal Technical High School. She attended Butler University and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in biology and secondary education. She then moved to Baltimore, Md., and worked for the Social Security Administration, where she met her husband John. They were married in New London where he was stationed at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and they raised their family in Waterford.

Enthusiastic about the teaching profession, she proudly earned her master of arts degree in elementary education from the University of Connecticut in 1966. She devoted great energy to teaching fifth grade at Southwest School in Waterford for 23 years, retiring in 1979. Active in the community, she was a member of the First Baptist Church of Waterford, served as an usher at the Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, and worked in the Friends of Harkness State Park Gift Shop. She was a member of the Waterford Historical Society and a Five River Consortium Literary Volunteer, and enjoyed working with the Trillium Garden Club. She travelled with friends around the country to elder hostels and faithfully rose early three times a week to participate in exercise classes at the Waterford High School swimming pool until the age of 96.

The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday in the First Baptist Church, Rope Ferry Road, Waterford, with interment following in St. Mary Cemetery. Calling hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic.

Memorial contributions may be directed to either Hospice Southeast Connecticut or to Friends of Harkness.

Published in The Day on Nov. 5, 2010
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