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Mary McGuckin Canfield


1917 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Mary McGuckin Canfield Obituary
August 20, 1917 - February 5, 2017 Mary Canfield was born in Philadelphia on 8/20/1917 to Mary Dean and Thomas McGuckin, the oldest of four daughters ("the McGuckin Girls"). Her father and maternal great-grandparents were Irish immigrants. During the Depression, Mary attended W. Philadelphia Catholic Girls HS and earned a scholarship to Rosemont College. After graduation, Mary soon became Personnel Director for the US Army Signal Corps Depot & Procurement Section (1941-1949). A favorite Signal Corps experience was working for the UN Secretariat in NY. On 6/7/1947, Mary and William Donaldson Canfield, a WWII veteran and career Army officer, married at St. Charles of Borromeo Church in Drexel Hill. Between 1949-1959, they had four children. Mary always said that Don was the "best thing that ever happened to me," and she embraced their adventures in Japan, KS, PA, DC, VA, NJ, Germany, Europe, Israel, and Palos Verdes, CA. In 1970, Don began a new cable television career, while Mary continued teaching high school English and Latin, having earned her Master's in Education from Boston University. After retiring from Locke HS in LA in the early '80s, Mary volunteered at Little Sisters of the Poor for over 25 years (until age 97), and through St. John Fisher Church as a Eucharistic and Stephen's Minister, etc. She played the timpani drums, organ, and piano, mastered the LA Times crossword, read voraciously, and well into her 90's, studied the Bible in Scripture class. Mary was independent, humble, faithful, and generous. With unmatched inner beauty, she was a confidante to her husband and children who loved and adored her. After declining health, she passed away peacefully on 2/5/1917. True to her nature, Mary expressed thanks, love, and blessings before death. Mary is survived by children Sandy Blackwood, Bill Canfield, Terry Canfield [Dick Harris], and Ellen Canfield [Marty Koyle], and by grandchildren Kevin and Elizabeth Blackwood, Tess Harris [Tony Morain], Meghan and Hayley Harris, and Charlie and Claire Koyle. Don, grandson Alex Koyle, and sisters Terry, Nancy, and Joan predeceased her. Mary's life will be celebrated at a funeral mass on Saturday, 2/18/2017 at 10:30am at St. John Fisher Church, 5448 Crest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12, 2017
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