Madelyn M. (Finn) Carney
1929 - 2021
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Of Boston, died Jan. 11, 2021.

Born in November 1929, Madelyn graduated from Mission High School, attended Boston College Intown School, and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education at Massachusetts College of Art. In Ware, MA, Madelyn designed and taught the art curriculum for the town, enriching the lives of her students.

In 1953, Madelyn married her true love, Atty. John J. Carney, with whom she raised nine children. She resided in Savin Hill for more than 60 years. With her love of literature and conversation, she easily made people feel at home. Unafraid of hard work, she was active in her community, and tirelessly strove to promote affordable housing. Later, a lodging house Madelyn ran became home to the Missionaries of Charity. Their founder, Mother Teresa, would stay there or in Baltimore, MD, when visiting the United States. Another home became refuge to Caritas Communities, dedicated to preventing homelessness. Madelyn also served for years as treasurer for the MassArt Alumni Association, and proudly served on Boston College's Institutional Review Board. At the Boston College ILR, she taught Irish History, and enkindled a passion for writing, later publishing a memoir entitled Hills and Harbors.

Madelyn was in tune with nature. Although a "city kid," she loved the outdoors, eventually finding a second home amid Provincetown's art community, where she tended to her beautiful seaside garden. Over 40 years, Madelyn painted there, recording the changing and vast skies of that outermost reach of Cape Cod. She had unwavering religious faith, and encompassing all she approached was her artistic vision, her trained hand, and a genius for capturing sublime light. Having expanded all our horizons, Madelyn has now come into her own.

Survivors include children Bernard and Mary Kickham Carney, Eileen, Maureen, Kathleen and Donald Thibeault, Claire and John Griffin, Janine, Joanne, Mary and partner Mitch Jones, and Elisabeth. Grandchildren include Andrea, John, Grace and Robert Carney; Andrew, John and Madeline Thibeault; Maryclare Griffin and Ted Westling and Norah Griffin; Alana and Miren Parkinson; William Volya and Elena Madelyn Pavlenkov; Zachary Fox, and Connor, Duncan and Piers Echols-Jones. She is also survived by several beloved cousins and sisters-in-law, and many loving nieces, nephews and friends, dearest among whom are James Wagner and Prashant Shankar, MD. She was predeceased by her husband, John, her parents, Thomas and Mary Keeley Finn, brothers Thomas Paul and William P. Finn, sister Barbara MacDonald, and son-in-law Paul Hansen.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Pioneer Valley Symphony (; or to Dot Art, c/o Walter Baker Artist Lofts, 1231 Adams St., Dorchester, MA 02124 (; or to Village In Focus, Inc., for Maria Assumpta School, Bbanda, Uganda ( c/o Barney Carney, 231 Savin Hill Ave., Dorchester MA 02125.

Funeral services will be private, but please view her Funeral Service live streamed on Saturday morning, January 23rd, at 11 A.M. using the link provided in her obituary on the funeral home website,

For guestbook, please visit Arrangements by the Murphy Funeral Home, DORCHESTER.

View the online memorial for Madelyn M. (Finn) CARNEY

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Boston Herald on Jan. 19, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
January 23, 2021
Madelyn's life was as full and well lived as any person could hope to have. The immense love that follows her departure from this world demonstrates that. It is impossible to characterize the ongoing sense of loss that
her family and those that cherished her now feel, but memories of her will comfort all.
Mary McDermott
Family Friend
January 23, 2021
Liz, sending you prayers of condolences and comfort
Wanda Williams
January 22, 2021
I will miss my neighbor and friend.she was a true force of nature and i loved hanging out with her and John reading poetry,and arguing politics.we had a great time on our many adventures with her children,camping,south end music school and biking on the cape cod trail.
Karen pavidis
January 22, 2021
Such a great loss for this remarkable family and the Boston community. Madelyn's love, generosity and intellect are irreplaceable. My deepest sympathies and love are with you all.
Mitch Jones
Significant Other
January 21, 2021
Madelyn Carney had an enormous impact on the lives of the LaMontagne family. Sheila's first cousin, she was more of a sister as Sheila was an only child. We always called her Aunt Madelyn when we were kids and we spent a lot of time together. The Carneys joined our family's presence in Corinth, VT, and we bought land together. In the mid-70s Madelyn famously took a day trip to visit Sheila in Provincetown, the station wagon full of kids, most her own, with a few friends and cousins mixed in, and they all stayed for 3 weeks. What a blast we all had. That summer led to buying property in Provincetown together. Madelyn was often in charge of us as teens, telling us to be back this side of midnight. She'd be up waiting up at the kitchen table no matter how late. People were always welcome to drop in at any place, and Madelyn and John so loved to hear and tell jokes and stories, and meet their children's friends. Madelyn helped everyone to be a better version of themselves without judgment. My love goes out to all the Carneys and what a great legacy she leaves behind in her children and grandchildren.
Jessica LaMontagne
January 19, 2021
It's a sad time &this adds to our sorrow.
Madelyn was a fun loving ,strong , creative force for her Family & Friends.
We have missed seeing her in Ptown & realize our loss.
We send our Love to The Family
Dorothy&Ed Freitas
January 18, 2021
To all the Carney family we offer sincere sympathy on the death of your dear mother. We have very good memories of her and John's trips to Ireland. They were such welcoming and generous hosts when we visited Savin Hill. May she Rest in Peace, we will remember her and all of you in our prayers. God Bless, Willie and Carmel Gacquin , Roscommon Ireland.
William Gacquin
January 17, 2021
Mary, Liz and the entire Carney family, I am so very to hear of the loss of your Mom. Clearly, she led a remarkably fulfilling life and made a substantial impact on the lives of so many. She certainly had many distinguished accomplishments, the most important a wonderful husband and family. Although I did not know her personally, I know my Mom and Dad were extremely fond of her as was Marianne. I'm sure you must take some comfort in your cherished memories of her; not to mention knowing that she's in peace and reunited with your Dad. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Deepest Condolences, Amy Caldwell-Tierney
Amy Caldwell-Tierney
Family Friend
January 17, 2021
Liz I'm sending sincere condolences, prayers of comfort and much love.
Wanda Williams
January 17, 2021
My wife and I met John and Madelyn many times through my son Jim, we visited at Saven Hill and Provincetown, they are two people who we met that we will not soon forget. Rest In Peace Madelyn and rejoin your beloved John. James Wagner Sr and Patricia Wagner.
James Wagner sr
January 17, 2021

My condolences at the loss of this truly magnificent woman! Along with her sister in law Mary Cooper I never met such an engaging committed, and funny woman. A true loss, as she she viewed the world from the perspective of what could be done for it and it's inhabitants. The fine light that she once captured so delicately is now holding her within its golden rays.
Maureen O'Sullivan Weeks
January 16, 2021
My condolences to Kathleen on her entire big beautiful family. Beautiful obituary - a life well lived. As the road rose to meet your sweet Mom I feel certain your Dad had arms open wide - those Irish eyes are smiling together again
Joanne Doherty
January 16, 2021
Reading the opus of Madelyn's life can leave one feeling grateful and envious all at once. She did so very much good for so many during her long life. She was the epitome of a charitable and caring person. She was always very kind to me. Our interactions were always worth remembering, but I recall one that stands out for its spontaneity and originality: On a summer day about 25 years ago, I was driving on Route 6A in Provincetown, across from Pilgrim Lake. There is a row of identical white cabins on the bayside beach there, near a "T" intersection providing access to Route 6. There stood Madelyn, alone in front of an easel with paint brush in hand, painting those cabins and the background sunset over Provincetown Bay. Surprised to see her there, I got out of my car and observed her process of art. We spoke for some length about some things, and I remember driving away feeling lucky for the exchange. I hope and expect that she and John are together once again, creating art and music for many. My condolences to all of the Carneys.
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