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Paula Lanigan DiIorio Grady

1934 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Paula Lanigan DiIorio Grady Obituary
Paula Lanigan DiIorio Grady peacefully passed away on March 23, 2017 in Winchester, MA. Paula was born on October 2, 1934 to Eileen Watson Lanigan and Edmund Lanigan, and she grew up in Somerville, moving to Winchester in her teens. Paula graduated from Winchester High School in the class of 1952 and Tufts University (Jackson College at the time) in 1956. Later in 1956 Paula married John DiIorio, her high school sweetheart, despite his being a Joe DiMaggio fan, whereas her loyalty was forever pledged to Ted Williams. They had four children, Mark, Debra, Jay, and Lisa. Paula returned to her hometown in a professional capacity as a Special Education Coordinator at Winchesters McCall Middle School, and she devoted her twenty-five year career in the Winchester public school system to ensuring that all children, regardless of ability or background, had access to quality education. An active and athletic woman, sports were an integral part of Paulas life, even during times in which women were discouraged from participation. Renowned for her unorthodox slice and wicked drop shot, Paula played tennis competitively past her 80th birthday and was still playing until just months before her death. Her husband John DiIorio succumbed to a lengthy battle with cancer in 1986 and Paula gave the acceptance speech when he was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame at Winchester High School in both basketball and baseball. Paula then moved from the familys home in Andover to Bostons Back Bay and later to the Charlestown Navy Yard. In 1990, she married Paul Grady, and together they shared a twenty-seven year partnership, with a mutual love of Boston history and sports, world travel, and, above all, their many grandchildren. Endlessly energetic and driven by her core belief that one is never too old to make a difference, Paula joined the Peace Corps at the age of 70; she served two years in Jamaica, building awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis and counseling those who suffered from the devastation to their health along with severe social stigmatization. Paula spent her later years enjoying her family and her beloved Little Sebago Lake community in Maine, as well as her wide circle of friends. An avid reader and supporter of all public libraries, Paula rarely missed a day without reading the newspaper. As the matriarch of her family, Paula is survived by her four children, her daughter-in-law Denise DiIorio, her son-in-law Christopher Cheney, and her five adored grandchildren, John, Erik, Adam, Shea, and Zoe. She leaves behind her devoted husband, Paul Grady, of Hingham, Ma, and his children, George, Paul Jr., Alex, Margaret, and Nathalie. She is also survived by her younger sister Sheila Lanigan Kalmes, her nephews, Jeff and Chris, and her niece Lynn. As one who left her mark on many different communities, the lines of her favorite poet, William Butler Yeats, best captures Paula's life: Think where mans glory most begins and ends, And say my glory was I had such friends. Visiting hours will be March 30 from 6-8 PM and March 31 from 1-3 PM at Lane's Funeral Home, 760 Main St. Winchester MA. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday April 1 at 10AM in St. Mary's Church, 158 Washington St. Winchester. Donations to honor Paula may be made to the at www. alz.org.
Published in The Winchester Star from Mar. 28 to Apr. 6, 2017
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