Mary C. Keane
FUNERAL HOME
Carmon Windsor Funeral Home
807 Bloomfield Avenue
Windsor, CT
Mary C. Keane, R.N., M.A., O.C.N., of San Ramon, CA, and formerly of Windsor, CT, passed away on September 22, 2021. Born in CA, daughter of the late Robert E. and June (Alford) Keane, Mary was raised in Los Angeles where she attended Ramona Convent Secondary School as a boarding student. Upon graduation, Mary joined the Sisters of the Holy Names and lived in CA while pursuing her nursing education. Mary ultimately earned an A.A. degree in Nursing from De Anza College in 1972 followed by a B.S. in Nursing Education from Holy Names University in Oakland, CA, in 1975. Mary felt that her calling was to "walk with people in pain" and in 1976 she was sent by her Order to New Haven, CT to do hospice work. The organization that she worked for established Branford Hospice, which became a model for the rest of the country. In 1980, Mary moved to Hartford, CT to work as an oncology nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Her first apartment in Hartford was on the 3rd floor and only accessible by a fire escape. She lived there only briefly because she realized that, given her innate clumsiness, she was bound to break a leg as soon as winter set in! In addition to working at Mt. Sinai, Mary began working with the Carmon Funeral Home after hours, helping with difficult family situations and especially helping children deal with loss. She started a young widows & widowers' group in 1989 and a children's group, which she initially held in her apartment, in 1991. She also worked with people & families affected with AIDS and at a center for families who lost a child to SIDS. Mary earned her Master's from St. Joseph's College, where drawing on her years of experience she wrote her thesis on the "Impact of people who family members meet when they first experienced a death", Mary retired from Mt. Sinai & left her Order in 1994, at which time she started working for the Carmon Funeral Homes as a family counselor and staff trainer, with emphasis on caring for children in grief. Mary received the American Cancer Society's Excellence in Oncology Nursing Award and the George Sheehan, MD Award for Humanitarian Service while at Mt. Sinai Hospital. In 1996, with the support of the Carmon Family Foundation, Mary established "Mary's Place", A Center for Grieving Children and Families, located in Windsor, CT. She created Mary's Place as a safe environment for children to grieve in whatever way they wanted or needed to and not be judged. Having a safe place where children could interact with other children who had a shared experience helped ease their isolation and let them know that they were not alone. Mary loved all the ways that kids expressed their emotions, and one of her favorites was a poster that read, "Dear Mary, I rilly, rilly, rilly like coming hear." Mary's Place was the culmination of her life's work, and prior to her retirement in 2006 she said, "I have so much admiration for the courage these families possess. It is an incredible privilege to journey with these children and adults through this painful passage in their lives and to see the healing. I draw my strength and my courage through the people I have met here." One of Mary's greatest joys was her involvement with FIDELCO and becoming the owner of a breed dog named "Ginger". Ginger became Mary's constant companion and became the therapy dog at the funeral home and Mary's Place. Mary's legacy lives on in the work she started at Mary's Place and in the hearts of the thousands of lives she touched during some of the worst moments in their lives. Besides her of many cousins in California and around the United States, Mary left many dear friends in Greater Hartford and beyond who she had cared for and supported during the most difficult time in their lives. Mary's Services will be in California Friday, November 12, 2021, with burial with her parents. Locally, A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, December 3, 2021, 11 am at Mary, Gate of Heaven Parish St Mary's Church, 42 Spring Street, Windsor Locks with her dear friend Msgr Robert O'Grady as Celebrant. A Reception will follow the Mass. Contributions in Mary's memory may be made to Mary's Place, A Center for Grieving Children & Families, 6 Poquonock Avenue, Windsor, CT 06095. For further information please contact the Carmon Funeral Home, 860-688-2200 or visit the website for directions or to leave condolences for the family at carmonfuneralhome.com.
Published by Hartford Courant on Nov. 3, 2021.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Dec
3
Mass of Christian Burial
11:00a.m.
Mary, Gate of Heaven Parish St Mary's Church
42 Spring Street, Windsor Locks, CT
Funeral services provided by:
Carmon Windsor Funeral Home
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13 Entries
Mary was there for me, my sister (Beth) and my family when my Dad died in 1983. She cared for my Dad while he was dying and she cared for his girls after. My family was forever changed by Mary's kind heart and generous spirit. To this day if I have a sad moment thinking of my Dad it is immediately followed by happiness thinking of a time that was ultimately filled with love. Mary was a blessing to many children my sister and I are two of them... We will be forever grateful for Mary. Amy Sherwood (daughter of David Sherwood, granddaughter of Bud and Marie Cunningham)
Amy
Friend
November 30, 2021
Oh, Mary, you will be remembered with love and gratitude during our SNJM days and all the support during my Chemo days. You bring a smile when I think of you. , Marilyn
Marilyn Lewellyn Mackinnon
Friend
November 12, 2021
I met Mary over 25 years ago through our work with children grieving the death of a loved one...Mary's Place was based on Dougy Center's model of peer support, and Mary was such a sweet presence -- caring, loving, smart, nonjudgmental, and dedicated. We had good talks at conferences, and she had such an optimistic outlook and kind soul. I am grateful that our paths crossed, and sad that they won't cross again in this lifetime...
Donna Schuurman
November 9, 2021
We all loved and admired Mary. A brave and modern woman who made a positive difference in the lives of so many of us. God Bless her Soul.
Nancy and Greg Allen
Friend
November 9, 2021
My son died in September. His son is 13 and he had his very first visit at Mary's Place. I cannot even begin to tell you what a what a wonderful and special place it is. My grandson and I found a great support system. I sure wish that I had the opportunity to have met you dear Mary. You have made a difference in our lives. May you have eternal peace.
Laurie Herrera
Other
November 6, 2021
Mary was a very lovely person. My last few years of contacts with her were at our annual Associate retreat at Villa Maria Del Mar with her dog, Willie. We will miss her!
Sabina Gotuaco
Friend
November 5, 2021
Mary, you are in the arms of God forever. I am grateful to know you and am proud of all that God accomplished through you.
Rosemary Everett, snjm
Friend
November 4, 2021
I think Mary was a reincarnation of God. That's all I can think because she touched me very deeply when I met her 37 years ago, when my father was in his last months of life. My time with her was brief, but I have heard of her continued work, and I know she brought the same relief and comfort to all the others she touched in her long and generous life - she was truly God's hand, here on earth. I met her when she was leading a support group meeting for cancer families and I felt so much relief and comfort from her. I have never forgotten her. I went to a few sessions before my father passed, and even had my first introduction to John(?) Carmon who was a speaker at one of the meetings. I knew then that I wanted my father's funeral with them. I stumbled across this notice while looking for another, and am so happy to read of Mary's life and how together both she and the Carmons did so much good for so many; and happy to be able to share my story of my encounter with her, after all these 37 years - the woman I know was God entering my life then.
Denise Bero
November 4, 2021
Truly an angel
Ron Bukowinski
November 3, 2021
"Another soul safely home." There are not enough words to thank Mary for the work she did, the people she brought into this important work, and the people she helped, whose who left us and those who stayed. Eternally grateful...
John
Friend
November 3, 2021
May you peacefully rest among the angels and saints. Bless you for your support during my most difficult days.
Robin Lund
November 3, 2021
So sorry to hear of Mary´s passing. We worked together for many years at Mt Sinai. She always had a beautiful smile that she greeted patients and staff. Her kindness will be remembered by many people.
Sara Rosenbecker
Friend
November 3, 2021
With deepest sympathy during this time of difficulty.
Carmon Windsor Funeral Home
November 3, 2021
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