Josephine T. Maher, 91

Josephine Theresa (Penton) Maher, originally of Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada, passed away at her home in Quincy, Massachusetts, following a long illness on April 27th at the age of 91 with her family by her side. Jo was a devout Catholic, the loving sister in her family of 6 children, and happily married Charlie Maher in 1958. They embarked on a great life together, moving from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Halifax, Nova Scotia and, in 1976, moved to Massachusetts with their five children. Jo’s naturalization as an American citizen and her completion of a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from American International College in 1982, enabled her to obtain her American Nursing license, which she treasured and renewed until her 75th birthday.

Josephine T. Maher

Jo had a gift and passion for caring, which directed her career in nursing and her love of volunteering. She began her career as a public health nurse in Newfoundland, graduating from St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in 1951. She flew by sea plane to remote areas providing critical care to residents and ensuring that they could stay at home. Jo worked in various settings during her career, but ultimately found her greatest reward caring for the elderly. As a staff and then charge nurse at Springfield Municipal Hospital, she was recognized for her selfless dedication to her patients, their families and teaching other nurses. In 1984, she was named Massachusetts Hospital Association Nurse of the Year. Jo was also a dedicated volunteer at Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and at Hospice of Pioneer Valley, and Hospice of Boston. She and Charlie traveled to Jamaica, to provide volunteer care to HIV patients. Jo concluded her 57 year career by working for the Red Cross, teaching and training in their education program, and providing others with the chance to learn and begin a career in nursing.

Jo was devoted to her family as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She cherished the time spent caring for and enjoying her 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She showered them with love and loads of fun – swimming on Cape Cod, annual trips to Waterville Valley and Sturbridge Village, ice cream outings, countless trips to the zoo and aquarium, and fashion shows in her living room with the girls. Her greatest joy was picking up the little ones for a weekend at Grandma and Granda’s house with a kitchen full of desserts, reading, coloring, playing games, and always with their education being a very high priority. She instilled in them a love of the church, service to others, and kindness. As they have gotten older, her life lessons guide them. Jo was beloved at St. Joseph’s Church in Quincy; her kindness, friendship, and love of her favorite statues brought joy to those who knew her in the parish. A held hand, a hug, a quiet word of support was what they would get from Jo, and her prayers were always for them and their families.

Jo will be deeply missed by Charlie, her husband of 64 years, her daughter Catherine Burns and her husband Bob in Pinehurst, NC, their children Stephen Burns and his wife Keeley and their children Teddy and Lincoln, in Mountain Green, UT, and Jennifer Burns in Southern Pines, NC; her daughter Dr. Elizabeth Maher and her husband Dr. Robert Bachoo in Dallas, TX and their children Meghan, at Yale University and Emily, at American University; her son Charles Maher of Manchester, NH; her daughter Mary Jo Blackington and her husband Jay in Hingham, MA and their children Charlie Blackington, in New York City, and Sara Blackington, in Boston; her son Peter Maher and his wife Nancy and their daughter Christine in Charlestown, MA.

A wake will be held at Dennis Sweeney Funeral Home at 9am on Saturday, May 7, followed by a funeral mass at 10:00AM at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church 44 School St., Quincy. The burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jo’s name to St. Joseph’s Church, 550 Washington St, Quincy MA 02169.

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