Mary Elizabeth McDermott of Monmouth Beach, formerly of Old Bridge, passed away on Sunday, January 29 at her home with her family at her side. Mary was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was a 1953 graduate of Mount Trinity Academy and was attending Simmons College when she met and married the love of her life, Jim. Through his US Naval service, they traveled the world, which included homes in the Philippines, San Diego, Key West and Albuquerque. A longtime resident of Old Bridge, Mary was a founding member of the Old Bridge Public Library. Through her 30+ years of service, she was instrumental in the growth and success of the library’s service to the community. She also gave of her time as a volunteer at Old Bridge Regional Hospital and Old Bridge Township with a Heart, which assisted the people of Old Bridge in economic crisis through counseling and financial assistance.
She was a longtime patron of the George Street Playhouse, Two River Theater and New Jersey Repertory Company. She enjoyed many a production with her family, friends and fellow theater goers. Mary loved to read and would often have bookmarks in several books at a time.
If not a book, Mary subscribed to several newspapers a day and always looked forward to the expanded Sunday editions. Her love of reading and adventurous spirit transformed Mary into a global traveler in her retirement with visits to six continents, over 30 countries and certainly most of the states. She shared her pictures and stories with everyone in such detail that you felt that you had made the trip with her.
She loved to spend time with family. A move to Monmouth Beach saw her long list of friendships grow and soon she was a regular attendee of the informal Ladies Friday Movie Group. Mary made friends easily and was a great conversationalist who loved investigating local history through books and daytrips.
She also possessed a great command of current, local, and global topics. Her intellect and wit were greatly appreciated and will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure and blessing to have known and loved her.
Mary was predeceased by her husband, James Michael McDermott; her parents, Julia M. Connolly and Thomas F. Connolly; her brothers, John J. Connolly, Thomas F. Connolly Jr. and William E. Connolly; a son-in-law, William C. Gentry; his mother and father-in-law, Katherine (Rena) McDermott and Joseph McDermott. She is survived by her children, James B. McDermott and his wife Bonnie of Cary North Carolina, Christine McDermott of St. Petersburg, Florida, Thomas J. McDermott of Toms River, Michael McDermott and his wife Brenda of East Rochester, New York, and Cathleen Callinan and her husband John of Rumson; her brothers, David Connolly and his wife Tanomjit of Springfield, Virginia, Brendan Connolly and his wife Betty Ann of Medford, Massachusetts; and sister-in-law, Kathleen Connolly of Saugus, Massachusetts. Mary is also survived by her grandchildren, Erin and Sean McDermott, Lauren and Eli Gentry, Brendan and Kellan McDermott, John (Jack), Catherine and Maeve Callinan.
A gathering of friends and family will be held on Saturday, February 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad Street, Red Bank. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Mary’s name may be made to the Old Bridge Public Library, Old Bridge Municipal Center, 1 Old Bridge Plaza, Old Bridge, NJ 08857.
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