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MARY O'LEARY SHEVLIN

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MARY O'LEARY SHEVLIN Obituary
SHEVLIN, MARY O'LEARY November 6, 1921 to November 26, 2012 On November 26, Mary O'Leary Shevlin, 91, passed away peacefully after a long and wonderful life. Mary was born in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland on November 6, 1921 to parents John O'Leary and Hanna Keane O'Leary. The family moved to the United States in 1922 and settled in Denver, Colorado, where her brother Joe O'Leary was born. The family moved to San Diego, where Mary attended local schools: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Elementary School, Woodrow Wilson Junior High, Hoover High School and San Diego State University, where she received an Elementary School Teaching Degree. During World War II, while in college, Mary attended a dance at Miramar Naval Air Station with a group of sorority sisters and met her future husband Bob, a U.S. Marine pilot waiting to be deployed to the South Pacific. Upon Bob's return to San Diego, they resumed their friendship, which turned into love, and were married in June 1946. They settled in Kingston, Rhode Island, where Mary taught school while Bob received his degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Univ. of Rhode Island and worked for General Electric. After their first son, John, was born in Salem, Mass., Mary and Bob returned to San Diego, where sons Tom and Mike were born. Mary was active in the Boy Scouts as a den mother and also a team mother in Little League. Mary taught kindergarten and first grade in the San Diego Unified School District until she retired. After retiring, Mary started her second career as a full time volunteer. After getting a call from a young Rev. Joe Carroll, Mary became one of the Founding Members of the St. Vincent de Paul Ladies' Guild. For over 25 years, she spearheaded fund-raisers, worked as a docent at the shelter, and, most memorably, personified Mrs. Santa at the annual Village Christmas party for the resident children. In 2007, Mary and her family were honored by St. Vincent de Paul with the Bishop Maher Award "For Outstanding Leadership and Compassion in Serving Our Neighbors in Need." Mary was also an enthusiastic member of other social service organizations, including the Social Service Auxiliary, Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, House of Ireland, Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Salvation Army Women's auxiliary. Mary is survived by her family: husband of 66 years Bob, sons Tom (Kathy) and Mike (Dannette), grand-children: Christina (Jason), Joseph (Viana), Erin, Stephen, Jennifer, David, Jonathan and Vanessa, great-grandchildren: Elizabeth, Gavin, Benton, Victoria and Ava. Mary is also survived by her sister-in-law Nikki O'Leary and her family and daughter-in-law Debbie. Mary was predeceased by her eldest son John (1952-1994) and her brother Joe O'Leary (1922-2010). Mary has been laid to rest at Miramar National Cemetery. There will be a Memorial Mass and reception on December 14th, at 1:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace Parish in El Cajon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to St. Vincent de Paul, care of the Ladies Guild.

Published in U-T San Diego on Dec. 9, 2012
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