Mary Lou Center

Mary Lou Center

May 18, 1934 - February 12, 2020
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Mary Lou Center, age 85, formerly of Bayport, NY died peacefully on February 12, 2020 after declining health at The Bridges by Epoch in Nashua, NH. Mary Lou grew up in Malden, MA, the daughter of the late Margaret E. (Dolphin) Center and Henry N. Center the younger sister of the late Marjorie A. Barrett and sister-in-law of the late Richard J. Barrett, Sr. She graduated from Malden High School in 1952; earned her bachelor of science degree in education from Wheelock College in Boston in 1956 and her masters of education from Boston College in 1965.

Miss Center dedicated 38 years to educating elementary students in the Sayville, NY School system, having worked at the Green Avenue, Sunrise Drive and Cherry Avenue elementary schools. An additional year was spent teaching children in the United States Army school in Portiers France. After retirement Mary Lou was involved in many community activities such as being a member of the Sayville Retired Teacher’s Chapter, SS College Women’s Club, The Birthday Club, and she was a member of Our Lady of the Snow church in Bluepoint, NY where she was a lector at daily masses for 9 years. During her retirement Mary Lou was always involved in some activity. She was an avid reader, gardener and always there for her friends and especially her family. She also loved to travel, going on many exciting and beautiful vacations with her long-time friend, Joan Callahan.

She is survived by her niece, Mary Lou Lynam, her husband Thomas and son, Michael; nephews, Richard J. Barrett, Jr., his wife, Vanessa and their daughter Alana; James P. Barrett his wife, Eileen and their children, James Jr., Jennifer and Julia; Lt. Col. Ret. Brian T. Barrett and his wife, Major General Maria Barrett; Mary Lou, also known to many as, “The Beautiful Princess” was loved by so many people. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff of The Bridges by Epoch and staff of Home Health & Hospice for providing love and care to our Aunt.

Visiting Hours will be held on Thursday, February 20, 2020, from 10 - 11 am in the Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, 24 Worthen St., Chelmsford.

Her Funeral Service will be held in the funeral home at 11:00. Interment in Oak Grove Cemetery, 230 Playstead Rd., Medford, at 1:00.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking for contributions in her memory to be made to: Home, Health & Hospice Care , 7 Executive Park Drive, Merrimack, NH 03054.

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  • Visitation

    February 20, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    February 20, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home
    24 Worthen Street
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Memorial Service

    February 20, 2020 | 11:00am
    February 20, 2020 11:00am
    Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home
    24 Worthen Street
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Reverend Joseph Rossi
  • Interment

    February 20, 2020 | 1:00pm
    February 20, 2020 1:00pm
    Oak Grove Cemetery
    230 Playstead Road
    MEDFORD, MA 02155
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Kindly gather at the main gate on Playstead Road at 1:00 pm.


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Private Condolence

Bill M

Posted at 11:11pm
Mary Lou was my brother’s second grade teacher at Sunrise Drive Elementary School (Sayville, NY) when our young father was dying from lung cancer in 1968. She and another teacher often took my brother and me to their homes after school and on weekends as he neared his death so we wouldn’t be home when he passed. I remember that we were playing cards when my mother called Mary Lou about my father’s passing and she drove us home. I am so grateful to Mary Lou for being so much more than a teacher – a true friend to our family! Bill Mayrose

Ann Taylor

Posted at 04:38pm
Many years have passed, but I recall your Aunt Lou always with such a big smile and so happy to be home with family especially with Chip, Jimmy and MaryLou... such a loving lady, so very sorry for your loss.
Ann McInerney Taylor


Posted at 08:59am
Mary Lou was the most positive and joyful person I have ever known. I remember the beautiful cottage that she rented in Bayport when she invited me there for tea. Her smile never left her face. When Christine and I visited her in the nursing facility in Sayville, she still had her wide loving smile even though she wasn't really sure who we were. She LOVED the car ride and let us know how much she appreciated it - all the while smiling. Mary Lou was a bright star of Sayville Schools and missed greatly. Much love to her family that she loved so dearly.

Judy Tobin

Posted at 07:33am
I met Mary Lou at Wheelock College in 1952.
We met every Summer for lunch in the Boston area, until I moved to Florida a few years ago.
M. L. Was a devoted aunt, deeply loving her family, talking about her niece and nephews often. She had a dry sense of humor , a sense of purpose, and was a good friend. Mary Lou was a kind, honorable woman.

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