Obituary of Mary McDonnell Law
Mary McDonnell Law, age 91 of Venice, Florida, passed away on August 29, 2023 in Hapeville, Georgia. She enjoyed 90 years of independence and had recently been brought to Hapeville to be cared for and surrounded by her family. Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on January 15, 1932, she was the daughter of John Powell and Asenath Shaw McDonnell. She was a 1950 graduate of Williams High School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and a 1951 graduate of Pittsfield Secretarial School. She enjoyed several summers of training as a concert pianist at Tanglewood in The Berkshires. Mary moved south in 1953 and lived in Clearwater, Florida from 1953-1960. In 1960 she relocated to North Miami and worked at North Miami General Hospital. She was a member of The American Board of Medical Transcription and worked with Doctors Needell, Winton & Fein. Mary was a clever, determined, and resourceful woman. Upon her retirement in the 1990’s, Mary embarked upon an in-depth genealogy adventure to research her family’s history. With much hard work, and alongside some great friends, she traced her ancestry back to the founding of the original colonies and to the Revolutionary War. As a result, she became a member of The Colonial Dames XVII Century and The Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary was also a member of The Daughters of the British Empire. She enjoyed many meetings, tea times, and patriotic gatherings with friends in these wonderful organizations. A daughter and mother of Navy veterans, Mary always recognized the importance of patriotism and philanthropy on behalf of our country.
Mary was an avid traveler for many years. In the 1970’s, she enjoyed frequent trips to Great Britain with her former husband, Gerald Taplin, who worked for Eastern Airlines and was originally from England. She developed a deep love for British culture, and shared that love with her granddaughters and daughter-in-law by taking them on their first European adventure to England, Scotland, and Wales in 1996. She also loved to cruise and did so many times over the years with both friends and family. A generous woman who loved to share good times with those she loved, she treated her family to their first cruise ship experiences and invited them back to cruise with her whenever their schedules allowed. Mary was a social butterfly who wasn’t afraid of anything. In the early 2000’s, she joined a group of strangers to take her biggest trip yet – a cruise around Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania! She loved sharing stories from her travels and passed on her wanderlust to many of her younger family members. Mary was an active member in her community, the Isles of Chestnut Creek in Venice, Florida. She always told her family that she “had the best neighbors in the world.” She was a loyal member of her church, Our Lady of Lourds Catholic Church in Venice, Florida. Mary loved her cats and supported numerous animal charities throughout her life. She loved it when her family from Atlanta came down to visit, and they made many precious memories together in Venice and the surrounding area. Mary loved living in Florida, but her hometown of Stockbridge, Massachusetts always held a very special place in her heart. In recent years, she made several trips back to Stockbridge with her daughter-in-law, granddaughters, and great-grandchildren, staying at the Red Lion Inn and recounting several generations of family history that took place in the quaint and charming little town. Thanks to Mary, or “Nanny”, as her family lovingly called her, the family history and love of Stockbridge will live on for many generations to come.
Mary had a quick wit and a great sense of humor. She was a very special woman to many friends and especially to her family members. She will be very dearly missed, but will be sweetly remembered with every cup of tea, every game of Scrabble and Gin Rummy that is played, and each crossword puzzle that is attempted without her expertise. Her family will always love her, and will forever be grateful for her long, fun, adventure-filled and “charmed” life, as she would say.
Mary is survived by her daughter-in-law, Sharon Bryden; granddaughters, Peggy (Jeremy) Bryden Hardy and Carole (Henri) Bryden Augris; and four great-grandchildren, Lily (10) and Gavin (9) Hardy and Zoe (5) and Margot (2) Augris. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur L. Law, and the love of her life, her son, Charles (“Charlie”) Bryden who passed away on July 9, 2019.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Venice, Florida at 11:30 AM on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, with a graveside service to follow at Sarasota National Cemetery at 1:30PM. Farley Funeral Home in Venice is handling the arrangements. To send a condolence or a memory please visit www.farleyfuneralhome.com. If you would like to make a donation in memory of Mary, she requested donations be made to St. Francis Animal Rescue in Venice, Florida https://www.sfarvenice.org/.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Law, please visit Tribute Store