Marion Theresa Mulrennan Graham, a long-time resident of New Canaan, CT, and loving wife, mother and grandmother, died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday. She was 91.
Since May, 2014, she resided at Maplewood Senior Living in Darien, CT. Marion lived in New Canaan for nearly 40 years with her beloved husband John “Jack” Graham, who died in August 2017. They were married 67 years.
Marion was born in Everett, MA, on Jan. 7, 1927 to Patrick “Jim” Mulrennan and Elizabeth Grogan, young Irish immigrants seeking a better life. Her mother was part of the massive diaspora who entered America (1917) through Ellis Island. Her dad would arrive in Boston after serving with the U.S. Coast Guard during World War 1.
Marion was the middle child of three beautiful, raven-haired daughters. Ginny was the oldest, Patsy the youngest. In her teens, Marion worked in her parent’s restaurant, “Mulrennan’s Café,” as a waitress. She would go on to graduate in 1948 from Regis College in Weston, MA after commuting to her classes each day. There she earned the endearing nickname, “Mul” and was known for her gregariousness, wicked sense of humor and thick Boston accent. While attending Regis she met Jack, a World War 2 veteran and football standout five years her senior who was attending nearby Boston College on the GI Bill.
After marrying in 1950, Jack’s career as a cement-industry executive would take the young couple from Providence, RI, to Bethesda, MD, to New Rochelle, NY, and eventually New Canaan. The couple were parishioners of St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan. They were also well-regarded members at Woodway Country Club in Darien, Westchester Country Club in Harrison, NY, and Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD.
Although a devoted wife and mother, Marion found time to give back to her community. For several years she had worked as a substitute gym and classroom teacher at Holy Family School in New Rochelle where all six of her children attended. But spending time with family and friends was her biggest passion. For years she held a weekly bridge club at her home in New Rochelle and over the summers she would delight in chatting and laughing on the beaches of Westchester and Woodway country clubs. In their later years, Marion and Jack would winter on Amelia Island, Fla. Their children and grandchildren will forever cherish the memories of many festive birthday celebrations, Thanksgivings and Christmas holidays.
Marion is survived by her six children: Mary Beth Conry (Kevin) of Alexandria, VA; Colleen Hogg (Gary) of Concord, NH; John Graham (Amy) of Newport Beach, CA, Margaret Arrix (Robert) of Darien; Monica Billeter (Todd) of Darien; and Patrick Graham (Veronica) of Yonkers, NY. She is also survived by her older sister, Sister Cecilia Agnes Mulrennan of Framingham, MA, and 14 grandchildren — Brianna, Katie, Rachel, Jack, Elizabeth, Grace, Fiona, Robby, Julia, Claire, Catherine, Emma, Patrick and Charlie and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her younger sister, Patsy MacLeod.
The family will receive friends at St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 31. The wake will be immediately followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m., and a private burial will be held at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan. The Graham family will also host a luncheon celebrating Marion’s life at Woodway Country Club.
The family kindly requests that no flowers be sent. Memorial donations may be sent to: Regis College, P.O. Box 30, 235 Wellesley Street, Weston, MA 02493, in honor of Marion Graham.
For online condolences and directions, please visit hoytfuneralhome.com.