Cover photo for Harriett M. (Cunniffe) Lally's Obituary
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1929 Harriett Lally 2023

Harriett M. (Cunniffe) Lally

September 1, 1929 — May 25, 2023


Mrs. Harriett M. (Cunniffe) Lally of Falmouth, formerly of Waltham, died peacefully in her home on Thursday, May 25, 2023, surrounded by the loving presence of her daughters. She was 93.

Harriett was born on September 1, 1929 to Harriett (Dodge) Cunniffe and Edward A. Cunniffe. She graduated from Waltham High School in 1947, and achieved her degree from Middlesex Community College later in life. She lived much of her life in Waltham, moving to Falmouth in 2015.

Harriett was the wife of over 50 years of the late Robert E. Lally of Waltham. She is survived by her children: Harriett M. Severance (Jonathan) of Northborough, Kathleen A. Moulton (Gary), and Joan F. Castellano (Robert) all of Falmouth, Ellen D. Lally of Waltham. She was predeceased in 1959 by her daughter Ann M. Lally.

Harriett is survived by eight grandchildren: Matthew Severance (Katie) of Dunbarton NH, Abigail Nelson (Sean) of Bow NH, Elizabeth Krebsbach (Dylan) of Northborough, Alexander Moulton (Leah) of Francis UT, Caitlin Alayan (Mohamad) of Holden, Christine Johnson (Derek) of West Boylston, Ann Castellano of Pocasset, and Jennifer Castellano of Mashpee.

She is survived by 15 great grandchildren: Max, Julie, Luke, Charles, Jonathan, William, Grace, Margaret, Beatrice, Callahan, Marwan, Sofia, Zara, Quinn, and Maeve.

Harriett is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

As the last surviving member of her birth family, she was the sister of the late Edward Cunniffe, Charles Cunniffe, Aldia Bushey, Joan Lally, Winifred Stoffel, Claire Burke, and Aureta Keane. She emerged as the matriarch of the Cunniffe extended family – loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and great-aunt. She was cherished by all and will be sorely missed.

Harriett came of age in the post-WWII era, and had a very busy life in Waltham, raising children, earning her college degree, and traveling with her husband on business trips. Their home near Prospect Hill Park was a mecca for her extended family, with nieces and nephews finding comfort from her and Bob. Harriett also enjoyed a rich social life, helping to create an informal group called the “TSPs”, short for Ten Special People. Sadly, after her passing, only one TSP member survives now. Harriett was a voracious reader and was a fixture in the Waltham, then Falmouth, public libraries. 

During the 1980’s she convinced her husband to purchase a second home in Falmouth. The house and grounds received plenty of “sweat equity” from her children and sons-in-law. Harriett’s husband and brother-in-law Raymond Lally were both brick layers in their younger years. In 1988, the two completed their “last hurrah” project: a beautiful fireplace and chimney for a recent addition to the Falmouth property. The home became a wonderful vacation spot for Harriett’s children and their families – the focal point for many happy memories, from lively birthday parties with cake and (the always required) Brigham’s ice cream, to singing “shows” put on by grandchildren in front of the fireplace, to quiet moments reading and chatting about history and current world events.

Harriett thoroughly enjoyed the town of Falmouth and its local beaches and other landmarks. She was known to enjoy a glass of wine on a beach at sunset, always accompanied by a loving family member or friend.

Family and friends will honor and remember Harriett's life by gathering on Thursday, June 1st, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, (Rte. 20) Waltham before leaving in procession to Saint Mary's Church, 133 School Street, Waltham where her Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Waltham.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made either to the Falmouth Public Library (300 Main Street, Falmouth MA 02540) or the Falmouth Service Center (611 Gifford Street, Falmouth MA, 02540).


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harriett M. (Cunniffe) Lally, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 1, 2023

8:30 - 9:30 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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Thursday, June 1, 2023

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