Shrewsbury | Northborough - Margaret Moynihan’s eighty-four years were marked by a profound love of family, friends, and education. A devoted wife and mother, she spent forty-four years of marriage to her beloved Frank with whom she proudly raised her two sons. Her most cherished role, however, was that of “Gramma” to her three special grandchildren. Whether folks knew her as “Peggy”, “Peg”, or “Margaret”, she truly relished spending time with her loyal family and friends but also looked forward to the new friend she had yet to meet.
The daughter of a strong immigrant woman from County Clare and a hard-working Irish American son of County Kerry, Margaret had a love of all things Irish and inherited an appreciation for the importance of work. She loved babysitting at a young age for local families in her beloved Worcester and then putting in the hours at Woolworth’s. A member of the National Honor Society, she knew at a young age that her future would be in public education. Her faith was incredibly important and a defining element of her entire life. She was an active member of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Northborough where she was part of its Women’s Club for over twenty-five years.
She had a love of antiques and enjoyed vacations in Maine and Cape Cod searching for the perfect find or a special piece to refurbish. Ogunquit, Maine was her favorite summer destination for the beach and it was typically an all-day affair. Her favorite family trip was to Ireland in the Summer of 2001 with Frank and the boys where she was finally able to visit her mother’s home at the “5 crosses” in Inagh, Clare. Forever memories would be made visiting with her cousins in both Inagh and Miltown Malbay.
Her career in teaching extended beyond the classrooms as she treasured the many friendships with the people whom she taught for so many years in various schools.
Retirement afforded her time to take numerous courses through the WISE program at Assumption University. Enjoying the role of ever-learning student she chose topics like American architecture, drama, theater, Irish history and more. Physically she always kept active and loved tending to her yard and house and additionally through her membership at the Greendale YWCA.
Margaret died Sunday, January 15, 2023 after a long and courageous battle with COPD. She was 84.
Margaret was born on September 27, 1938 in Worcester a daughter of the late John F. and Mary J. (O’Rourke) O’Connell. Raised in Worcester she was a graduate of Commerce High School with the class of 1956. She then earned her Bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University in 1960 (she was crowned prom queen) and her Master’s degree in Education in 1963, also from Worcester State. She married Francis X. ‘Frank’ Moynihan on June 25, 1966 in her home parish of St. Stephen’s. After a short time in Worcester, they made Northborough their home in 1969. After 44 years of marriage, Frank died December 5, 2004 and in 2017 she moved to live at The Southgate Community in Shrewsbury.
Her teaching career began in 1960 at the Midland Street School in Worcester for ten years and she then opted to stay at home to raise her two sons. She returned as a substitute teacher in both Northborough and Southborough in 1981 before taking a permanent teacher’s position at New Ludlow Elementary School in Worcester where she taught over sixteen years, retiring in 2003.
In addition to her husband, Frank she was predeceased by her sister, Nancy A. Hines (late James); her sisters-in-law, Gail O’Connell and Mary Moynihan and brothers-in-law, Daniel and Thomas Moynihan.
She leaves her sons, Sean P. Moynihan (Lynn) of Hingham and Kevin M. Moynihan of Tampa, Florida; her grandchildren, Maeve, Declan and Kaycie; her brother, John F. O’Connell (late Gail) of Holden; sisters-in-law, Jane Moynihan of Shrewsbury and Barbara Moynihan of Guilford, Connecticut; nieces & nephews.
Family and friends will honor Margaret's life by gathering for a calling hour on Friday, January 20th from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Church, 244 West Main Street, Northborough followed by her funeral Mass celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow in Howard Street Cemetery, Northborough.
Those wishing to view the live broadcast (and recording) of her funeral Mass may do so by visiting: gather.app/remember/margaret-m-moynihan
Expressions of sympathy may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 (www.stjude.org) or the ALS Association of MA, 685 Canton St #103, Norwood, MA 02062 (Massachusetts Chapter | The ALS Association)
Arrangements by James & John Heald of The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, Waltham.