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Wilmington Resident Marie Kelly, 109

Kelly celebrated her 109th birthday on March 22.

Marie Kelly passed away recently at 109 years old. She volunteered at Big Sisters of Boston until her 80’s. 

She will be interred at Calvary Cemetery, Woburn. 

On March 22, 2012 Marie Kelly celebrated her 109th birthday at Woodbriar of Wilmington. Her Woodbriar community shared her birthday celebration with her extended family and friends through the .

Marie B. Kelly is the second of six children born to Julia M. McAuliffe from Knocknagoshel, Kerry, Ireland and Daniel J. Buckley from Glenn Beigh, Kerry Ireland. Marie was born in South Boston on March 22, 1903, and the family soon moved to Dorchester. The Buckley’s Dorchester home was for many years the gathering place for all the neighborhood children as a happy place of music and lively discussion. Marie’s parents instilled a very strong family bond in their children, a trait that continues today among the many progeny of Marie and her siblings.

Marie married George T. Kelly, an architect who designed school buildings for the City of Boston, on October 12, 1929 and they settled in the Ashmont Hill section of Dorchester where they raised four children: Joan Dooley of Yorba Linda, California; Paul of Southfield, Michigan; Neal of Woburn, Massachusetts; and Jack of Burlington, Massachusetts. Marie had 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

After the death of her husband at age 92 in 1986, Marie moved to Woburn, Massachusetts to be near her children Neal and Jack and their families. She lived next to St. Barbara’s Church and quickly became a very active member of the St. Barbara’s family. Two months short of her 101st birthday, Marie decided she no longer wanted to maintain her own apartment or do her own cooking and moved to the assisted living unit of Country Club Heights in Woburn but still in St. Barbara’s Parish.

Marie began a tradition of gathering the families of her siblings and other relatives to her home every August to celebrate her father’s birthday. That tradition still survives today when the descendents of Julia and Daniel Buckley get together for a family reunion every five years. Marie, the family matriarch, cherished seeing her family and extended family come together and introduce the younger generations to the tight knit Buckley Clan and the traditional music and lively discussion. The last few family reunions attracted over 125 people coming from all parts of the United States and sometimes a few from Ireland. For Marie, her legacy is one of family.

Marie was the beloved wife of the late George T. Kelly. She was the loving mother of Joan Dooley & her husband William of Yorba Linda, CA, Paul of Southfield, MI, Neal & his wife Virginia of Woburn and John & his wife Mimi of Burlington.  She was the sister of the late Frances Coleman, Katherine Sullivan, Celia, Joseph & John Buckley.  She was the proud Grandmother “Oma” of 12 and great grandmother of 15. 

Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Monday, April 16 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Barbara’s Church, 138 Cambridge Road, Woburn at 10 a.m.  Visiting hours Sunday 3-6 p.m. Interment in New Calvary Cemetery, Boston. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University Medical Center. Call 617 638-8990 for details. For directions, obituary & online guestbook see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net.

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