*Those wishing to view the broadcast (and recording) of Maddy's funeral Mass please use this link: https://youtube.com/@smothboylston1581
Shrewsbury - Just this past Thanksgiving Maddy Figueras sat for a photo with all her family. In the center of the photo surrounded by generations of love she wore a comfortable sweater with the word ‘Blessed’ embroidered on the front. She knew this to be true throughout her eighty-two years.
Maddy died Saturday, December 17, 2022, with her family gathered at her side.
Madeline A. McCrohon was born December 5, 1940, in Worcester, a daughter of the late Mary (Lapinsky) and Joseph McCrohon. Mary remarried to Vincent J. ‘Bill’ aka ‘Baggy’ Cernis who became a father-figure she absolutely adored. Maddy, “Sharky” to some, grew up on Vernon Hill, where she was a special friend to many. “She was full of joy, love, laughter and mischief, you know, the good kind”. She graduated from Ascension High School with the class of 1958, where she made life-long friends who continued to enjoy her smile and sense of humor until the end. Maddy earned her Bachelor’s degree from Anna Maria and later her Master’s in Education from UMASS – Boston. She married Cuban native Fernando A. ‘Chico’ Figueras on July 6, 1968 and were married for 51 years until his death on July 30, 2019.
Maddy began her teaching career in the Berlin school system. She left Berlin to raise her children and continued to teach them at a nearby nursery school, ‘Happy Acres’ on Gulf Street. She returned to work with the Shrewsbury Public Schools becoming a tutor and then the town’s first E.S.L. teacher for immigrant students.
Her family was everything to her. Maddy adored her children and supported them in everything that they did. Between her and Chico they managed to make every game and event, often chauffeuring friends along the way. Maddy made sure everyone was welcome in her home. She was a bright light to all who knew her, her laugh was infectious. Her smile could lift you up, and the twinkle in her eye brought joy to anyone who knew her.
The world needs more people like her.
She loved her students as if they were her own children. Her role as teacher extended beyond the school hours. Her natural instincts to mother helped her students to learn the basic necessities of life. She welcomed all of them into her home and shared her family with them. She embraced their cultures and individuality while building relationships to last a lifetime. Her excursions and field trips to historical destinations locally and beyond, created those special bonds and memories for all who participated, including her own children. Maddy was certainly a blessing in the lives of these immigrant children. After twenty-two years she retired in 2006 to care for and enrich the lives of her own grandchildren.
Maddy loved to be active! She played tennis for many years but also loved hiking and camping, especially in Acadia with her good friend, Sue DiLeo and family. Maddy welcomed every opportunity to get to the ocean, riding the waves with or without her boogie-board, reading a book, or collecting stones and shells. She was famous for her sandcastles with her finishing “drizzle” effects. She would wear seaweed as hair just for the laugh and then enjoy countless sunsets to cap off another great beach day. Her love of the ocean led her to learn to sail and start a sailing club for the staff at the Shrewsbury Middle School. She was also an active member of the ski club.
Although in “retirement” her love of teaching continued, volunteering at St. Bernard’s Church in Worcester and with the Xaverian Missionaries, in their adult ELL program. She also became a personal trainer at the 'Borough’s' CURVES in Westborough and in Northborough where she had lots of laughs and expanded her family of friends.
She loved the outdoors and nature and spent as much time as possible working in her gardens on Gulf Street. Maddy literally loved the sky, the moon, the stars and the clouds. She was easily entertained by the hummingbirds that would frequent her home and then of course…blowing bubbles. She shared all of these loves with her children and grandchildren who will always look to the sky and be reminded of her.
Her faith and spirituality were a constant all the days of her life. An active member of Saint Mary of the Hills Parish in Boylston she was a familiar and dedicated parishioner. She taught in its CCD program, served as Eucharistic minister and lector, and loved her friendships from the W.O.W (Women of the Word) Bible study group. “She was a beacon of love and light for all.” “She was a beautiful, faithful and prayerful woman, who blessed many people with her friendship.”
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she literally fought it every step of the way. She joined Rock Steady Boxing of Central Mass which helps those afflicted with the disease. She put forth every ounce of strength and energy to fight this disease, for herself and for her family. “She epitomizes everything the program is about - strength, courage, fight, grit, camaraderie, and love.”
She leaves her children, Allison A. Figueras-Smith (Eddie) of West Greenwich, RI, Caryn D. Keenan (Scott) of Paxton, Andrea M. Michaud (late Sean) of Littleton, Matthew V. Figueras (Kimberly) of Paxton; her grandchildren, Mason & Adysen Figueras, Owen & Dylan Keenan, Frances Smith, Colin & Lexi Michaud; her sisters-in-law, Marie McCrohon of Shrewsbury and Patricia McCrohon of Sutton; nieces & nephews; sister of the late James McCrohon and Ronald McCrohon.
Family and friends will honor and remember Maddy's life by gathering for calling hours on Thursday, December 22nd from 4 - 7 p.m. in Saint Mary of the Hills Church, 630 Cross Street, Boylston. Maddy often wore 'Life Is Good' clothing because it was comfortable...and true. Her family encourages you to wear any 'Life Is Good' clothing you might have to the calling hours.
Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday in the church. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury.
Please omit flowers. Maddy's family requests that any memorial donations be made to Rock Steady Boxing Central Mass. Checks should be made out to 'In Your Corner, Inc' (memo Rock Steady Boxing/Maddy Figueras) and mailed to Christine Awdycki, 29 Woodstone Road, Northborough, MA 01532.
Arrangements by James & John Heald of The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, Waltham.