Mary Allen Crosby

August 4, 1941 ~ October 2, 2022 (age 81)


Mary Allen Crosby, born August 4, 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts, departed this world on October 2, 2022 after a long illness. Mary leaves behind a big family, as she was a loving mother to three (Vince McCarthy, Sybil Dufour, and Hope Dufour) and beloved "GrandMary" to eleven grandchildren (Holden, Honor, Hunter, Lily, Sandor, Talon, Taryn, Walker, Zackary, Zane, and Zeppelin) - while Aunt and Great Aunt Mary to many nieces and nephews, who surrounded her on holidays and birthdays. Mary is survived by five of her siblings, including Cara, Evelyn, Harold, Robert, and Robin. Her sister Gail and brother Stephen predeceased her.

While Mary lived in Chicago most recently, to be close to her daughter Hope in Oak Park, Illinois, she spent most of her life in the greater Boston area, primarily in Newton and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she worked and raised her three children. She later moved to Santa Monica, California to be closer to her two daughters and grandchildren living in Los Angeles. Mary was married twice, first in 1963 to Vin McCarthy, her lifelong friend and confidante, and father to her three children; and later, to Nadia Elvira Ramos, who spent years with Mary in Boston, Los Angeles and Cape Cod, until Nadia died of cancer in 2016, held dearly in Mary's loving arms.

Mary loved to cuddle with her cats and dogs over the years. She had a love for animals so deep that pets would surround her when she entered anyone's home - and she passed that love of animals to her children and grandchildren. In all things, Mary was a lover of adventure. Mary enjoyed travel to many places globally, but her favorite vacations were spent in Maine, where she proved herself an enthusiastic swimmer, boldly diving into the coldest Maine waters with ceaseless joy. From the age of seven, Mary had a lifelong passion for sailing - signing up solo as a young child for sailing lessons on Boston's Charles River, and as an adult happily captaining her own sailboat on Cape Cod. She loved a summer's day, and really enjoyed putting her feet up and hanging out in the sunshine - whether on a beach in California, Florida, Cape Cod, or anywhere in between.

Mary had a keen, free-ranging intellect, with a lifelong love of science, medicine, psychiatry, fiction and poetry, and was usually reading many books at once; she seemed to have knowledge in medicine far beyond her Master's studies at Yale. Mary earned three university degrees, graduating with a BS in Chemistry from Regis College, a BS in Nursing from UMass Boston, and later, in 1996, an MS in Nursing from Yale University, where she focused on psychiatric care especially for the geriatric community, a great life interest. She carried her passion for helping the sick and those in recovery from addiction into a number of venues, but particularly in a role perfectly made for Mary: caring as a nurse for the unhoused living in Boston. She often said her favorite part of that job was taking care of the neediest patients at the Boston shelter, as she listened to their stories and expressed her concern for their mental and physical well-being every day she went to work. Mary had the deepest empathy for those abused and afflicted with addiction, and once told her daughter: the pain they have suffered their whole lives is unimaginable, sharing the worst stories of abuse and neglect. Mary believed that in bearing witness to their deepest truths, she could help them navigate their pain and illness - and enrich their own hope for recovery. Mary's vibrant and story-filled life will be celebrated at a memorial service.

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