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CAROLAN MARY WICKHAM CAROLAN Mary Wickham Carolan ended her earthly journey on Saturday, March 29, 2014 after a long and fiercely fought battle with Alzheimer's. She is survived by a host of loving relations on both sides of the Atlantic. Mary was born in Dublin, Ireland to Richard and Eileen Wickham in 1932. She enjoyed an exceptionally happy childhood in Dublin with her parents, brothers, sisters and cousins. She always claimed to be the apple of her father's eye, as she was the youngest daughter in a large family. At her father's insistence, the siblings attended Irish schools where all subjects were taught in the Irish language. Thus began Mary's lifelong love affair with the ancient language of her homeland. Mary's other love was ballroom dancing, which led her to the love of her life, Patrick Carolan. Paddy emigrated to the United States in 1953 and Mary followed him shortly thereafter. They married in New York on January 2, 1954 and four children followed in quick succession, Deirdre, Rory, Geraldine and Padraic. Mary and Paddy spent part of their married life in Germany, Canada and NY before finally settling in McLean, VA in the late 60s. Paddy predeceased Mary in 1995. After Mary raised her four children, she worked at AAA in 7-Corners making TripTik maps for vacationers and at Mitre in McLean. She then obtained her GED and commenced her long delayed college career at George Mason. She came home from class after her first day with only one question "Why does everyone in college write with thick yellow markers and where do I buy one?" She did join a study group but despite her children's encouragement she did not try out for cheerleading. Mary obtained her BA in English Literature, with highest honors, and then commenced a career with Mobil where she worked in the Office of the General Counsel. Luckily, she chose to take a retirement package after only ten years and was able to enjoy a good few years of traveling and spending time with her loved and adored grandchildren before the onset of the debilitating effects of her disease. She enjoyed many of her retirement adventures and numerous evenings of ballroom dancing with her longtime companion John Ruiz who predeceased her. Mary was a strong, intelligent, well read, vibrant and independent woman. She preached the value of education to not only her children and grandchildren, but to anyone who would listen. She was a lifelong and faithful Catholic who strove to live out her faith in her daily life. Although she was tremendously proud of and engaged with her Irish heritage, she was equally proud to be an American and appreciative and awestruck by the many opportunities presented to her in our wonderful country. Mary is survived by her daughter Deirdre and her husband, Carl Doerflinger of Vienna, VA, who lovingly cared for her in these last several years, Rory and his wife Jayme Derbyshire of Point-of Rocks, MD, Geraldine and her husband Barry Tolbert of Peachtree City, GA and Padraic and his wife Cindy Carolan of Vienna VA. Mary was exceptionally proud of her grandchildren Connor, Ciara, Kevin, Cormac, Eamonn, Liam, Emma, Aya, Cavan and Seamus. She considered it a great privilege to have the opportunity to watch her grandchildren develop into people of great character and accomplishments. She is also survived by her two brothers, Jack and Tony, many sisters and brothers in law and a host of other relations in Ireland, England and the US. Visitation will be held at Money and King Funeral Home in Vienna, Va from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, in Vienna. Mary's remains will be inurned with Paddy's at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. For those that so desire, in lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in Mary's name to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17526, Baltimore, MD 21298. Online condolences and fond memories of Mary may be offered to the family at www.moneyandking.com www.moneyandking.com
Money and King Funeral Home
171 Maple Avenue W Vienna, VA 22180
Published in The Washington Post on Apr. 1, 2014