Mary Frances McHugh Walsh a West Scranton native, died peacefully on Easter Sunday April 5, 2015. Mary Fran, as many knew her, was 80. She is survived by her husband of 46 years Judge James J. Walsh, her two daughters Maura Walsh Rogan, married to Christopher and Jennifer Walsh Boyle, married to Edward and her six grandchildren James, John, and Michael Rogan, and Connelly, Sophie and Quinn Boyle. Also surviving is her brother Robert McHugh, his wife Kathleen and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Mary Fran was born October 22, 1934 to Dr. Thomas F. McHugh and Mary Peel McHugh. She graduated from Marywood Seminary, where she met many of her closest and lifelong friends. She attended Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York, where she studied to be a teacher. Following college, she returned home and taught elementary school for 13 years in the Scranton School District. It was not uncommon for her former students to stop her on the street many years later, and thank her for the positive impact she had on their lives.
In July 1968, Mary Fran married James J. Walsh, then Mayor of the City of Scranton. As Mrs. Walsh, she supported her husband’s work and political career. Mary Fran stopped teaching after the birth of her first daughter. While she devoted much of her energy to her husband and children, she also participated actively in the community she loved, serving on many boards and committees including the San Andreas Society, the Junior League of Scranton and after her children were grown she also worked in the Development Offices of Scranton Preparatory School and Bishop O’Hara High School. She was devoted to St. Patrick’s Parish in West Scranton. She served the church and school as a member of the parish council, lector, and Eucharistic Minister.
Mary Fran loved sports. She played field hockey and basketball through school, and tennis for many years thereafter. She enjoyed playing the piano and listening to music, especially classical recordings and liturgical music. An avid reader, she spent many hours reading all kinds of books. In later years her favorite books were those she read to her grandchildren.
Family was always most important to Mary Fran. For many years, she took care of her parents, other relatives and close friends. Her fierce loyalty and strong faith and spirit guided her through life. Her sense of humor grew larger as she grew older; with the introduction of two son-in-laws she had many years of poking fun and laughter. Once you met her, you never forgot her, Mary Fran was one of a kind. She will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Holy Family Residence of Scranton or St. Patrick’s Parish would be greatly appreciated.
As a 3rd-grader with undiagnosed ADHD, Miss McHugh was the first teacher to “get me.” She knew what I needed and she delivered. I’m sorry to hear of her passing, especially SO after the fact. She’ll always have a place in my heart.