Mary Frances Moore, 77, passed away peacefully at St. Elizabeth Home in East Greenwich, RI, on July 31, 2020, following a long battle with a rare neurological illness.
Mary is survived by her beloved children, her son Peter Johnson of Valby, Denmark, her daughter and son-in-law Rebecca and James Gorham of East Greenwich, RI, her grandchildren, Anna, Patrick, and Hannah, and her siblings, Elizabeth Moore of Las Cruces, NM, and Hugh Moore of Tellico Village, TN. She is also survived by her niece Kathleen (Moore) Quigley of Schenectady, NY, her nephew Kelsea Moore of Attleboro, MA, and many other loving cousins and family members. She is preceded in death by her father, Hugh Kelsea Moore, of Berlin, NH, and her mother, Margaret Taber (Johnson) Moore, of Pleasantville, NY.
Mary was born on November 11, 1942 in Boston, and graduated from Reading High School (Reading, MA) in 1960. She went on to graduate in 1964 with a B.A. in Education from Lesley University (Cambridge, MA). Later, she earned an M.A. from the University of Denver, with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. After spending a few years teaching in Stamford, CT, she married her first husband Halfdan Johnson in 1968, and moved to Denmark, where she raised Peter and Rebecca, and where she spent the next two decades. While in Denmark, she excelled in positions educating children of all ages, from young children to high schoolers. In 1987, she moved back to the States. After living for a year in New Mexico with her mother and sister, she moved to Concord, NH to be nearer to the family cabin on Lake Winnepesaukee, and began work as a teacher in Pittsfield. Later, after the sale of the cabin, she bought a house in Sandwich, NH, near her beloved NH lakes, and worked as a teacher’s aide. In her retirement years, she moved to Rhode Island to be closer to her daughter Rebecca.
Mary was an accomplished and dedicated educator, and truly loved teaching and children in general. She was athletic and very much enjoyed swimming, hiking, skiing, water skiing, canoeing, and other physical activities. She was extremely resourceful, loved camping and the outdoors, and often practiced many skills she had learned as a child at Camp Wohelo and as a Girl Scout. She had a passion for travel, and traveled extensively in Europe and in the States. An avid music lover, she was especially fond of classical and folk music, and relished both music and talk programs on NPR, to which she was a regular contributor. She was an ardent animal lover, and spent many years raising, caring for, and breeding White German Shepherds. Selfless, compassionate, and generous, she believed strongly in social justice and helping the poor and the afflicted. As such, she supported many charitable organizations, and devoted a great deal of time to volunteering, such as delivering food to shut-ins through Meals on Wheels. Her boundless strength and energy was met in equal measure by her profound Christian faith and her devotion to her religious communities at South Congregational Church in Concord, NH, Center Harbor Congregational Church in Center Harbor, NH, and Central Congregational Church in Providence, RI.
Mary will above all be remembered as a devoted and loving mom, grandmother and friend. Her family was of the utmost importance in her life. She lived for her grandchildren, and loved spending time with them at the lake or attending their sporting events. She was also a dedicated friend, and she managed to maintain lifelong friendships, even when some friends were an ocean away. She was beloved by many, and will be missed by all who knew her.
A private graveside service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery in Wellesley, MA, where Mary will be buried with her parents and grandparents. A celebration of life service and gathering will be scheduled at a future date to be determined by developments with the COVID-19 crisis. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to CurePSP at 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY, 10001. The family would especially like to thank the caregivers and staff of Hope Hospice, St. Elizabeth Home, and Atria Harborhill for their countless hours of service and loving care.