Rosemary Margaret (Murphy) Sullivan, 89, passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, October 9, surrounded by her loving family.
Rosemary was born in Holyoke on January 5, 1932, to Helena (Moynihan) and Christopher Murphy. After graduating from Holy Rosary High School in Holyoke, she worked at Whiting Paper Mill In 1955, she married Edward J. (Ned) Sullivan, who predeceased her in 1996. Together, they raised four children.
After the birth of her first child, Rosemary became a full-time mother and continued to stay at home after the births of her other three children, all of whom attended McMahon School in Holyoke, where Rosemary served on the PTA.
Later she went to work as a deli clerk at the former Shop-Rite in Holyoke, where she became a familiar face to many Holyoke residents, working alongside her childhood friend, Barbara Moussette. From there she went on to become a frame stylist at Lenscrafters in the Holyoke Mall, where she was recognized for excellent service, and where she once again became a familiar face to many Holyoke residents, who often asked specifically for her when buying glasses.
After she retired from Lenscrafters, her family was overjoyed that she now had weekends free to spend with them. She spent much of her time with family, especially her 10 grandchildren, for whom she often babysat and took on adventures around Western Mass. When one of her grandchildren received a learner’s permit, Rosemary was always willing to let them drive her car under her watchful eye.
Rosemary loved to go out to dinner with family or friends, and nothing meant more to her than family gatherings at the homes of her children. She enjoyed family vacations at Hampton Beach when her children were young, and later on Cape Cod. She was always ready to pack her suitcase for a weekend away. Rosemary was also a voracious reader.
Attending daily mass at Our Lady of the Cross in Holyoke was an important part of her routine for many years. Afterwards, she would often go to the Holyoke Senior Center or out for coffee with her friends. She also loved going to dinner, the theater, and on bus trips with her close circle of friends.
Besides her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her brother Christopher F. Murphy, grandson Brian K. Harris, and her nephew Christopher J. Murphy. She is survived by her children Maureen Sullivan of Holyoke (and her partner Tony Pepper); Joanne Welch (and her husband Gary) of Holyoke; Susan Harris (and her husband Brian) of South Hadley; and her son Ted Sullivan of Holyoke. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Meaghan Welch Vandermark (and her husband Brian) of Salem, MA; Timothy Welch of Chicopee; Patrick Harris of South Hadley; Kellie Welch of Brooklyn, NY; Joey Harris (and his partner Kate) of South Hadley; Mackenzie Sullivan (and her fiancé Joey Grabowski) of South Hadley; Nick Harris of South Hadley; Evan Sullivan of Miami, FLA; and Aidan Sullivan of Holyoke.
Rosemary leaves five great-grandchildren, Kylie Hunter; Hailey Cavanaugh Harris; Gabriel and Gracelyn Harris; and Odin Vandermark; her sister-in-law Marian Murphy, and nieces Sara Murphy and Carolyn Baron. She also leaves many wonderful and cherished friends.
Calling hours will be held at the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, Holyoke, on Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Cross Church in Holyoke. We kindly ask that you observe the Holyoke Mask mandate. Masks are required in the funeral home and in the church. Burial will be at St. Jerome Cemetery in Holyoke. Donations in Rosemary’s name may be made to Baystate Health Foundation for the Heart and Vascular Program at Baystate Health, 280 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA 01199.
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