Mary P. Cadigan | March 28, 2019
Mary P. Cadigan died peacefully at home in Garden City at the age of 94. She was born an only child to Dr. John and Irene McCaffrey in Brooklyn, NY. She attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help and The Mary Louis Academy. As a child, she enjoyed summers at Spring Lake NJ.
Along with the teachings of her mom and dad, her education and faith took a strong hold on her and determined her future life. While in high School, her family moved to Floral Park where she attended and graduated from Sewanaka High School in 1941. At a time when most women went to work, Mary attended and graduated from Adelphi University in 1945 when the campus consisted of only 3 buildings. She was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Theta National sorority until her death. Being a young motivated woman, she continued her education and earned her master’s degree in teaching at Columbia University. Columbia was where she borrowed a book from a classmate, Joseph Cadigan. Upon the return of the book, he jokingly asked her to take him out to lunch, and he quickly became the love of her life. He had been a lieutenant in the Navy during WWII, graduated Manhattan College and was also getting a master’s in education. They married in 1947 at Our Lady of Victory in Floral Park with a reception at the Garden City hotel. Joseph was the principal of Stewart Manor School for many years, he assumed principal and administrator positions in Elmont and Port Washington and post retirement worked for the Garden City School District Adult Education.
Their mutual values of God, family and education were part of the recipe that bonded them together. They married and had 7 children whom they cherished dearly. Their first test of strength and faith was when they lost their son Jeff at the tender age of five from cancer. Mom always reminded us, that “children are lent to their earthly mothers and we all belong to God”. She was predeceased by her husband Joseph, another son, John, her daughter Mary Conroy and her grandson, Kevin Conroy. Through it all, she continued to be a pillar of faith and strength for her family. She stopped teaching in Baldwin upon the birth of her first child. In later years, when her children were grown, she returned to teach homebound students in Baldwin. She raised her family in Garden City and enjoyed summers at her home in Connecticut at The Candlewood Lake Club.
She was active in the Mercy League, St. Joseph’s Rosary Society, Long Island Panhellenic, Girl Scouts, CCD as an instructor, her children’s school events and many additional community organizations. Along with her husband Joe, she was a Eucharistic minister for the homebound of St. Joseph’s Church in Garden City. She was determined to attend Annual Kappa Alpha Theta Christmas Teas at Adelphi and class reunions until her last year. She was honored to be photographed with Robert A. Scott the president of Adelphi at her 70th college reunion in 2015.
Mary continually modeled faith, love, and respect for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren whom she loved unconditionally. She laid a foundation of strong morals and values for her family to carry on in her legacy.
All who knew her were aware that she never missed an opportunity to share a lengthy, detailed story. Whether it made you laugh or made you cry, the story left people in awe due to her phenomenal memory of people, places, dates and events. She never intentionally tried to be humorous but, in the end, her words and thoughts always made others laugh. She loved being in the company of others, especially children and she loved family parties! Around the house you could often hear her singing and humming old tunes. In her later years she mostly looked forward to spending time with her family. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her so much joy and a reason to carry on. As she always said to them “You light up my life!”
Until her death, she prayed everyday with intentions for family, friends, her home health aides and even strangers she saw on the news. Every night she prayed for the homeless, poor, sick and misdirected. Mary always sincerely thanked God for her wonderful life and her so many blessings.
A mass of Christian burial was held at St. Joseph’s in Garden City and Holy Rood in Westbury. With a reception of family and friends at the Garden City Country Club. Mary is survived by Jay (Pam), Jerry (Bette), Irene (John), Lori (Bob) son in law John Conroy, 21 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren. She was adored by all and will forever be in our hearts.
The family thanks Garden City friends especially Kip Owen, Gerry Kelly and Eileen Casey for taking time to visit her and to all those that reached out to our family since her death. In her memory she would like you to please visit lonely neighbors and children in cancer hospitals. Donate blood or give to St. Jude’s Children’s hospital.
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Cadigan, Joseph [MC???? RIP]
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The late Joseph is a member of the class of 1941
May Mary Rest In Peace.
McEneney, Mike (MC1953)
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]
Cadigan, Joseph [MC1941 RIP]
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