March 11, 1930 - April 7, 2016
Concord, Massachusetts | Age 86
Mary Lenore (Sweet) Keating, 86, of Concord Mass passed away peacefully at home on April 7, 2016 after a brief illness. Mary had been a resident of Concord for more than 30 years. She was the beloved wife and best friend of William P. (Bill) Keating for 64 years.
Mary Lenore was born on March 11, 1930 in Managua, Nicaragua, the elder child of Richard E. Sweet and Leonore Huete. She spent her youth and young adulthood in San Francisco, where she attended St. Rose Academy before matriculating at Dominican College in San Rafael. She received scholarships to both. While in college, Mary was an accomplished pianist and vocalist. She retained her enchanting voice throughout life and instilled her love of music, especially of Broadway musicals, in her children.
A disarming smile coupled with an engaging personality proved irresistible for young soulmate Bill, who was attending the University of San Francisco. Marriage to his "Sweets" followed soon after graduation. It was probably no accident that the two met while working during college at the San Francisco Public Library. Voracious readers both, the shelves of later households would sag from the weight of books of unpredictably varied topics and genres.
Four years in Los Angeles and two children later, the young family was one of the few to migrate East in the '50s, where the remaining children were born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. After successfully navigating innumerable teenage years, Mary sought other challenges and returned to school, completing credentialing studies in Special Education at the Wright State University and the University of Dayton. She taught at the St. Joseph's School in Dayton for many years and continued to teach at the Little People's School in Newton, after the family moved to Boston in 1976. An enthusiast and empathetic teacher, Mary had a way of making every child feel better about themselves and reveled in their accomplishments, however seemingly trivial. She also served as role model and mentor to other, mostly younger, teachers.
After retiring in the late '90s, her time was filled with feeding the garden's wild animals, ardent movie-going, novels, and word-games. Family lore has it that she never lost a game of Boggle. Mary preferred "snail mail" to the internet sending lengthy letters written to family and friends in beautiful hand that relayed words of wisdom, social commentary and vignettes of humor. She loved "her friend" Einstein, the Producers, Thomas the poodle and the Patriots. She was a guardian of the neighborhood children, championed underdogs, and – mostly – cherished her family.
Mary was a deeply spiritual woman who believed that each day is a gift and lived her life accordingly. She instilled those same values in her family, who will miss her sorely. They broke the mold when they made Mary Lenore. There will never be another like her.
Mary is survived by six loving children, her daughters - Kathleen Keating of Okatie, SC, Eileen Keating of Palm Gardens, Fl, Mary Jane (Megie) Slamin of Hopkinton, Mass, Julie Casey of St. Simons Island, Ga and her sons - Gary Keating of Concord, Mass and Dr. Michael Keating and his wife Nancy of Orlando, Fl. "Mo Mo", as she was affectionately known by them, leaves 6 grandchildren – Ryan, Kathryn Sweet, Michael and John Keating, Robert Slamin and Michael Casey and one great-grandchild, Owen Keating. She had 6 nephews and nieces. She is also survived by younger brother, Richard Sweet, of Bend, Oregon, who kept her laughing until the end and with whom she shared a mischievous sense of humor. She was predeceased by her children Theresa and Mary Anne.
Mary was interred on April 12 at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery after a largely family-attended service. Washington Irving, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Watson and others who she joins there might be hard-pressed to get a word in edge-wise.
The Keating family greatly appreciates the compassion shown by hospice personnel from Care Dimensions of Wellesley during Mary's last days and the invaluable assistance of the staff at the Concord Funeral Home in making the arrangements for her passing as seamless and as painless as possible.
Donations in Mary's memory should be sent to La Salette Monastery 947 Park St Attleboro, MA 02703.
The light of God surrounds us.
The love of God enfolds us.
The power of God protects us.
The presence of God watches over us.
Wherever we are, God is