Mary Looney passed away July 3. Prior to her death, she spent time thinking about others and prepared the following:
“Mary Looney has left this Earth and is now in God’s hands. Put a smile on your face for me. Glioblastoma (grade 4 brain cancer) is very difficult to overcome; however, my family, friends, teachers, and students gave me love, prayers, support, care, gifts, food, cards, and more. I was so very touched many times and I was brought to tears by the love that spilled out from your hearts to me. You all were the best Sunshine ever! You made a difference for me!
My children and family had an unplanned event to deal with. Not fun. Ben you are the best chef, and your humor is appreciated. I hope you get someone else to pick your vegetables. Don’t let them rot! I love you. Shannon you are an excellent wife and mom. I knew you were going to be a teacher, because for years you had a make-believe class upstairs and even assigned homework. You are still a crafty woman. I love you. Paul, my son-in-law, you became part of this family and have not stopped doing whatever the antics are with the boys. Keep being an excellent husband and dad. I love you. Audrey, please continue to be curious, happy, athletic, inquisitive, and enjoy nature. You are a great big sister. Be like your Gram. I love you. Eli, you have the best smile ever. Always keep that smile going. You suck both your thumbs, but don’t do this forever. Be like your Gram. I love you. Ryan, you can fix anything and there might be parts left over, but the machine always works again. The best machine! How many kids ride a two-wheeler bike at three years old and drive the tractor at five years old? You lived with me and took care of our home. I love you. Mike, you are my soulmate. You are always ready to rise to the challenge for what needs to be done; and we would help each other reach the result. “Poops” are our names. Your equipment collection is extensive, and you use it all to help others. I love you.
Mom and Dad, you worked so extremely hard to provide for us all. I have a large family that created memories for all of us. You each shared your strengths with me. It might have been that you were: in charge of medical, the shoulder to cry on, a gardener, the baker, the one that connected me to other doctors, the one that texted me daily, or you who kept them all calm. I already have a special niece in heaven who earned her angel wings as a young adult. My in-law family is as extensive as my own. I appreciate all that they did to send me wishes, provide food and gifts. Pop went to heaven all ready, and Nana is not aware of life around her, but still smiles. I love you all.
After growing up in Syosset, New York, Mike and I married and moved to Connecticut, so I could use my talents as a biomedical researcher at Pfizer. After our third child, we decided I would leave my job and raise our children. Best job ever, but no pay. I then took on the role of providing childcare for many families and did volunteering throughout our town. I then became a special education teacher’s aide for some years, and was told many times that I should become a teacher. So, I did. I was hired at Old Saybrook Middle School for fourth grade and then transitioned to seventh grade science. This is a profession that is two-fold. One part is to teach the students, but the real part is to form the children and staff to be a better person and make a difference for someone else.
A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at Christ the King Church on Saturday, July 16. I have donated my body to the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University to allow students to learn. A donation, in lieu of anything else, to the Old Saybrook Education Association Scholarship would be appreciated by me and students. Please send the memorial donation to: OSEA Scholarship, c/o Ellen Sumby, 80 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475. Write Mary Looney on the memo line.
Celebrate my life, please. It was a great one!”