Mary Therese Duggan Vaccari
Our exceptional, beautiful mother, Mary, passed away peacefully on March 27, 2022 at the age of 95. She was born in Milton, MA on June 28, 1926, the first daughter of the late Joseph F. Duggan and Mary A. Troy Duggan.
Mary grew up in Milton within the extended Duggan-Troy clan; a family synonymous with community service. Her father, Joe, was a highly-distinguished member of the Milton police force, and relatives were renowned city officials. Mom graduated from Milton High School in 1944 and enrolled in Fisher Junior College. During World War II, when her beloved brother, Joe, left Boston College to become a Navy pilot, Mary volunteered for the Red Cross. After hours of compulsory “bandage-rolling”, she volunteered to drive ambulances and transports bringing wounded soldiers and sailors to and from USO events in and around the Boston area.
After graduating from Fisher in 1946, Mary worked as an executive secretary in Boston. In January of 1947 she met her future husband, Ralph Vaccari, while both were working on Central Wharf. After an historically brief period of dating (3 weeks!) Dad proposed. Having experienced the horrific realities of the war, Dad knew (at the grand age of 21) that Mom was destined to be his true love. He saw no point in delay! They were married on October 30, 1948, both just 22 years old, and settled into the home they literally built themselves in The Woodlands in Wellesley, MA. There they raised four above-average children: Trisha, Ralph Jr., Pamela, and Steven. Their storied love and loyalty for each other was only ever surpassed by their dedication to family and friends.
Mary and Ralph were gifted with a loving, tight-knit family and an ever-expanding group of forever friends. Mary was known as “Babe” to her family and those dearest to her. You had reached the innermost circle if she told you, “Please, call me Babe”. There was always another party, rarely a dull moment, and never any regrets. The stories are too many and too funny for this limited space.
Our parents’ loving marriage remained true and strong for 61 years, until Dad’s death in 2009 at age 83. Mom’s determination to squeeze every drop out of this life kept her with us for another 13 years. Today, and forever, Dad and Mom are united once again.
In addition to her parents, Mary was predeceased by her brother Joseph and her sister Patricia Susi. She is survived by her sister Kathleen Lynch, her brother-in-law Edward Vaccari, and her sisters-in-law Anne Duggan and Ruth Boiardi. Her youngest son, Steven, died by suicide in 2006. She carried the pain of his death until her own.
Mary is survived by her eldest daughter Trisha and her spouse Denise Bisaillon, her eldest son Ralph Jr. and his wife Susanne Pariente, and her youngest daughter Pamela and her husband Daniel “Sandy” Macdonald. Mom was unashamedly the ever-indulgent Grandmother to Rachel Pariente Vaccari Robbins (and husband Cameron Robbins), Ana Vaccari Bisaillon (and husband Philip van den Braak), Jeffrey Pariente Vaccari (and partner Brian Smith), and Alexander Vaccari Macdonald. And although hard to imagine, her love soared to new heights with the addition of her three great-grandchildren Jackson, Oliver, and Emerson Robbins. She also is survived by numerous, loving nieces, nephews and dear friends.
We have no doubt that Mary would have stayed here with us forever, were that possible. Despite years of increasing heart failure, she clung to this life with an indomitable spirit, she cherished every opportunity to gather with family and friends, was quick with a story, rewarded humor with her burst of infectious laughter, and loved her family fiercely, endlessly. We were blessed to have her as our mother, our friend, our source of strength, wisdom, and support. Truly, there will never be another like her.
Visiting hours will be held from 4 – 7pm on Friday, April 1 at the Alfred D. Thomas Funeral Home, 326 Granite Ave. Milton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at Saint Agatha Church, 432 Adams St. Milton at 10:30am on Saturday, April 2.
In celebration of Mary’s life, and in honor of a cause dear to her, please consider a donation in her name, in memory of Steven, to The NAN Project non-profit promoting awareness of depression and suicide and access to life-saving support.
The NAN Project
125 Hartwell Avenue
Lexington, MA 02421
To send flowers to Mary's family, please visit our floral store.