Mary Agnes Dempsey

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Mrs. Mary Agnes Dempsey of 42 Fairmount Street, Burlington, Vermont, and Bentley Village, 532 Bentley Drive East, Naples, Florida, passed away on February 3, 2013, at the age of 91.

Her husband, James Paul Dempsey, a native of Olyphant, Pennsylvania, preceded her in death on December 6, 1998. Mr. Dempsey was employed by the General Electric Company for 35 years. In his Vermont assignment he served for 26 years as labor, employee and community relations manager.

Mary Agnes was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, daughter of the late James "Jay" Gunning and Mary O'Malley Gunning. She earned a Degree in Business from Scranton Lackawanna College and attended Tobe Coburn School of Design, New York. She was employed by The Aetna Life Insurance Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, for several years. She was an active member of her beloved community and her church societies. During World War II, she served as a member of the U.S.O. in Scranton, Pennsylvania, for four years. Also active in the Catholic Junior League of Scranton she assumed Presidency in 1945.

On November 17, 1951, she was married to James Paul Dempsey of Fairfield, Connecticut, in St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Minooka, Pennsylvania. The ceremony was performed by her late uncle, Reverend Leo J. O'Malley, Pastor of St. Thomas Church in Little Meadows, Pennsylvania, and assisted by the bride's brother, Deacon Eugene Leo Gunning of Mount Saint Mary's Seminary, Emmittsburg, Maryland. Following this marriage, she and her husband became residents of Easton, Connecticut; New York, New York; Pennsylvania and Burlington, Vermont on Mr. Dempsey's assignments with the General Electric Company. During those years, she became affiliated with the Carlson Foundation, Bridgeport, Connecticut; in York, Pennsylvania, she assumed a position with the Susquehanna Radio and Television Broadcasting Company for several years. Moving to Burlington, Vermont, she became a homemaker for her young family and joined the Burlington Garden Club in 1958 remaining a member until her death. She served on Garden Club State Environmental Committee as Chairperson for one term. She always enjoyed attending the annual conventions of the National Council of State Garden clubs, which were held in a different state each year. Starting in the winter of 1984, she became a winter resident of St Petersburg Florida and also a member of the Garden Club of St. Petersburg, Florida. She has held Life Memberships with the Burlington Garden Club, the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont, the Garden Club of St. Petersburg, Florida, and the National Council of State Garden Clubs, St. Louis, Missouri.

Locally, here in Vermont, she enjoyed her involvement as an active volunteer of the Friends of Speech and Hearing, associated with the University of Vermont, where she served as President of this group, which has become the Stern Center in Williston, Vermont. Also as a member of "The Friends of the State House Montpelier, Vermont she served as a Docent for a few years.

She was a member of Christ the King Parish, Burlington, Vermont, where she served as chairperson of the Christ the King Bridge Club. During the winter season she was a member of St. Anne's Church, Old Naples, Florida. Mary Agnes had memberships at the Burlington Country Club, Ethan Allen Club and Klifa Club all of Burlington, Vermont: the Isla del Sol Yacht and Country Club in St. Petersburg, Florida and Friends of the Vermont State House, Montpelier, Vermont.

Surviving her are four sons and their spouses, namely, Kevin James Dempsey, R.P.N. and Cindy Bailey Dempsey of Brownsville, Vermont and Blue Hill, Maine; Eugene Leo Dempsey and Sheila Dempsey of Bedford, New Hampshire; Sean Curran Dempsey and Mary Elizabeth Dempsey of Marblehead, Massachusetts and Cocoa Village, Florida; and Timothy O'Malia Dempsey and Martha Ryan of Bonita Springs, Florida and Burlington, Vermont; six grandchildren, Justin James Dempsey of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Caitlin Anne Dempsey of Burlington, Vermont; Brendan Timothy Dempsey of Waltham, Massachusetts; Jordan Andrew Dempsey of Bedford, New Hampshire; Gillian Rose Dempsey of New York, New York; and Ryan Patrick Dempsey of Marblehead, Massachusetts; youngest brother, Reverend Eugene Leo Gunning of Scranton, Pennsylvania; two nieces, Dr. Mary Lisa Gunning-Meholick of West Chester, Pennsylvania; and Dr. MaryJo Gunning-MacGregor of Moosic Lakes, Pennsylvania and Lake Waynewood, Pennsylvania; eight nephews, Daniel, James and Timothy Dempsey of California; Martin Dempsey of Chicago, Illinois; Thomas Dempsey of Stamford, Connecticut; Michael Dempsey of New York, New York; and Girard Dempsey of Jessup, Pennsylvania. Predeceased by her are her brother, Michael James Gunning of Scranton, Pennsylvania; and her nephew James Dempsey of Tampa, Florida.

A wake will be held on Sunday, February 10 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Ready Funeral Home on Shelburne Road, Burlington, Vermont. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Christ The King Church, 136 Locust Street, Burlington, Vermont on Monday, February 11 at 11 a.m. Internment will follow in the family plot in Resurrection Park Cemetery, South Burlington, Vermont. Memorial contributions may be made to The Basilica of St. Ann, 1200 St. Ann Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18504; or St. Ann's Shrine, Isla La Motte, Vermont; or to the donor's favorite organization or charity. To send online condolences to the family, please visit www.readyfuner
Published in Scranton Times on Feb. 7, 2013
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