Celebrating the life of Mary Margaret O'Connor
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Mary Margaret O’Connor
May 8, 1964 – February 1, 2016
On the evening of February 1, 2016, Mary passed away peacefully at St. Catherine’s Center in Waco, Texas, after a courageous and hard-fought eight-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 51 years old. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 5, at St. Jerome Catholic Church with the Father Cyril Ejaidu as Celebrant. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 4, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Garden Room.
Mary was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on May 8, 1964. She was the first of four children of Louis and Marge (Lesko) Garthe.
Mary attended Highland Park High School in New Jersey, where she played softball and was a cheerleader, and later attended Middlesex County College, where she earned her degree in x-ray technology. The degree would lead to a career that was a cornerstone of Mary’s life. Mary loved everything about her work, from the patients to the doctors, to the technical challenges to the job. She was passionately proud to be an x-ray technician and especially loved her co-workers at Providence Hospital in Waco.
In 1987, Mary met Kenneth Bruce O’Connor of Long Valley, New Jersey, who became the love of her life. They married in 1989 in New Brunswick, New Jersey and would embark on a wonderful and exciting life together that would take them from New Jersey to Georgia to Louisiana to Texas to Virginia, finally back to Texas to the city of Waco. Together they had two daughters both born in Atlanta, Andrea in 1993 and Sarah in 1996. Mary loved Ken’s company and together they had a happy and blessed marriage full of love, fun, and laughter. They enjoyed sporting events and performing arts and could often be seen at Baylor University attending a Lady Bear’s basketball game, or play or musical. Mary loved her family and always put her family’s needs before her own and she was truly the backbone of the family. Mary was very proud of her daughters and the beautiful women they grew into. Attending Andrea’s graduation from Texas A&M in 2015 was a highlight for Mary, despite having been in severe discomfort from her disease.
Mary was a passionate and loyal friend and because of her warm and out-going personality and beautiful smile, she developed many different circles of friends. Her Hidden Valley friends nicknamed her “the wild thing,” and she spent countless hours laughing and enjoying the company of this group. Mary made it a habit to schedule time for her friends and made it a priority to spend quality time with those she cared about.
Mary was devoted in her Catholic faith. Her deep belief in the Lord sustained her through the darkest of times as she battled cancer. She was a member and teacher at St, Jerome Catholic Church, and she will be greatly missed by all there.
Mary maintained an active life and was a fixture at the Waco Family Y, where she enjoyed the company of her friends while taking a variety of exercise classes. Mary was also a member of the Waco Striders Running Club, and she always supported her husband’s running endeavors.
Mary was preceded in death by a brother, Andrew. She is survived by her husband, Ken; daughters, Andrea and Sarah; parents, Lou and Marge Garthe; brothers, Robert Garthe and Louis Garthe; as well as many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers are Louis Garthe, Robert Garthe, David O'Connor, Jim Olmstead, Adair McKnight, Lloyd Alcorn and Jon Marc Goodnight.
Special thanks to the doctors and nurses of Providence Hospital, who did everything humanly possible to help and support Mary, especially during these last few months.
Memorials may be made to the Community Cancer Assoc., 100 Hillcrest Medical Blvd, Waco TX 76712. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our “Memorial Guestbook” at www.WHBfamily.com.
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6101 Bosque Blvd.
Waco, TX 76710
9820 Chapel Road
Waco, TX 76712
2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706