Obituaries: Mary E. Williams

Williams was a 4th generation Hollistonian and her family was among the founding members of St. Mary’s Church.


Mary E. Williams, of Westwood, formerly of East Sandwich and Holliston, died on May 12 at Clark House in Westwood at the age of 90 years after a long and dignified battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Born on February 19, 1922 in Framingham, she was the oldest daughter of Thomas J. & Grace (Moynihan) Hoey. She was a 4th generation Hollistonian and her family was among the founding members of . She was the first girl to take woodworking class in Holliston schools, and graduated from Holliston High School in 1940. After graduating from Simmons College in 1944, she worked in a laboratory at Harvard University Stillman Infirmary and later at Salem Hospital. She married George D. Williams of Marlboro in 1947. George and Mary lived in Holliston until 1979, when they relocated to East Sandwich. She remained in East Sandwich after George died in 2001 and then moved to Fox Hill Village, Westwood in 2005 to be closer to her children & grandchildren.

Mary was involved in town government and many civic organizations both in Holliston and East Sandwich. She was one of the first women in Holliston to hold elective office when she was elected to be on the Library Board of Trustees in 1961. She later served on the Planning Board in Holliston and the Board of Appeals in Sandwich. A self-described “professional volunteer”, she was active in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, St. Mary’s Church of Holliston, Corpus Christi Church in Sandwich and St. Margaret Mary Church in Westwood. She was also active in the Holliston Historical Society, a past President of Holliston Garden Club, a volunteer at the Thornton Burgess Society of Sandwich, a docent at Heritage Plantation, Sandwich, and a member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Holidays would find her making gift baskets for residents of nursing homes, residents of Medfield State Hospital and patients in VA hospitals. Every spring she helped plant geraniums in front of Holliston Town Hall.

A lifelong learner, she took landscape design classes at Tufts University, classes at Framingham State College and later at Cape Cod Community College. She took classes at Fox Hill Village and surfed the internet well into her 80’s. A craftswoman extraordinaire, there wasn’t a craft she couldn’t do. This included sewing, knitting, stained glass, origami, woodworking, home improvement projects, flower arranging, gardening & cooking. Until her final illness, she did the Sunday New York Times cross word puzzle in ink. . She had a great love of travel, even planning a trip to Iceland at the age of 85. She was very proud of her Irish heritage. She made new friends wherever she went, doing so almost to the end of her life. She instilled in her children a love of reading, an appreciation of Mother Nature and the importance of having a hobby. They all hold these values close to their hearts and have tried to pass this legacy on to their own children and grandchildren.

She leaves her 4 children, Mary Ellen Pierce and her husband Douglas, of Needham, David and his wife Laura of Hopedale, Thomas and his wife Lisa Goldberg of West Roxbury, and Sarah (Sally) Kacprowicz and her husband Mark of Natick. She was known as “Mimi” to her 8 fabulous granddaughters, Sarah Pierce Thomas and her husband Jason of Natick, Carolynne and Meredith Williams of Hopedale, Emily Williams of Waltham, Rachel Williams of Milford, Alison Williams of New York City, Amy and Mary Kacprowicz of Natick. She also leaves her two cherished great- granddaughters, Delia & Finley Thomas of Natick. She is also survived by her two sisters, Clare Hoey Morash of Centerville and Joan Hoey Kilman of Medway. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces & great-nephews.

Her funeral will be from the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park Street at Natick Common, Natick, Friday, May 18 at 9:15 a.m. with a Mass of Christian Burial at Saint Mary’s Church, 8 Church Street, Holliston at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow St. Mary’s Cemetery, Holliston.

Visiting hours will be Thursday 4 – 8 p.m.

Donations may be made in her memory to Thornton Burgess Society, 6 Discovery Hill Rd., East Sandwich, MA 02537.


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