Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mom's Obituary

This is the obituary I wrote for my Mom, Maureen Dumas. She was a wonderful woman and I will miss her terribly.

August 21, 2010

Mary E. Dumas (only to the nuns in school; to everyone else she was Maureen or Moe. or Grandma, or Aunt Moe.....)

ALBANY- Maureen or Moe Dumas 76, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, August 21, 2010 surrounded by her loving family. Maureen was born in Albany, the oldest child of the late Charles and Ellen MacGowan, and was predeceased by her husband, Eugene Dumas, who died in 1986. Maureen was fond of saying that she had many lives: one life was her family; one life was theater; another was political; yet another was anti-poverty and community action. She was devoted to all of her lives and will be remembered by many. She was actively involved in the Albany Civic Theater (ACT) for many years, beginning with their days on Beaver Street and continuing through the acquisition and outfitting of the current theater on Second Avenue. She was active with ACT throughout the 60’s and 70’s. With her good friend, the late Nick Toscino, Maureen did the makeup for the Legislative Correspondents Association (LCA) Show from 1971 through 2005. In 1977, she was named to the Private Industry Council by former Democratic Mayor Erastus Corning II. In 1980, she ran for NYS Senate against Senator Howard Nolan; she lost, but by the slimmest margin that Senator Nolan ever held against a challenger. In 1983, Maureen was named by Senate Majority Leader Warren B. Anderson to the Community Services Block Grant Management Plan’s Advisory Council, a program that reviewed applications for government funding for such programs for the poor as health services, nutrition, and housing and employment; a position which she held for more than 20 years. In 1986, she was awarded the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award. At the time of the award, Maureen was the president of the National Association of Community Action Agency Board of Directors and provided leadership for the Albany County Head Start Program, Albany County Opportunity Inc., the NYS Department of State Policy Advisory Committee for Weatherization, and was involved with local implementation of the Job Training Partnership Act – Private Industry Council. She was actively involved in the Irish Perceptions Series through the Albany Chapter of the Irish American Cultural Institute, of which she was a founding member, the Albany City Arts Office, and Centro Civico Hispano-Americano. In 1987, Maureen helped to bring the Festival of Nations to the area. In 1988, she organized the Governor Thomas Dongan Feis, an Irish dance festival that she continued to run and worked with for many years. In 1996, Maureen received the Maude Gonne MacBride Award from the NYS Irish Northern Aid Committee for her work in bringing Irish culture to the area. In 1997, she received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Keeper of the Dream” Award from the EOC/CEDC of Nassau County for her “Outstanding Commitment and Contributions to Empowering Individuals, Families and Communities through Community Action in New York State”. As part of this award, she was given a bronze bust of Dr. King which was displayed proudly in her home. She was a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, JFK Division #1 for many years and a member and past president of the Albany Kiwanis. She retired from the New York State Senate in 1993, where she worked for nearly 40 years. She started in the Steno Pool and worked for Senate Majority Leader Earl W. Brydges, Senate Majority Leader Warren B. Anderson, and Senator Joseph Pisani, among others, ending her career working in Constituent Relations. After her retirement, she volunteered at her good friend Father Peter Young’s Altamont Program, serving on the Board of Directors until her illness. Maureen is survived by her three children, Ellen (Michael) Porcari of Rotterdam, Jean (Robert) Pelton of Louisville, Kentucky, and Paul (Linda) Dumas of East Greenbush. She was the much-loved Grandma Moe of Steven Magee, Bryan Magee, Mary Beth (Mark) Ketzer, Annie Dumas, and Paul Dumas, Jr. In addition, she was great-grandmother to Bryan Magee, Jr. and Helen Ketzer. Moe was the big sister to Patricia (William) Cohen, the late Francis (Patricia) MacGowan, the late Elizabeth (Joseph) Zappone, and Charles (Barbara) MacGowan. Moe was the special cousin and friend of Lee Smith, who she loved very much and who spent most of Moe’s last days at her side. Aunt Moe also leaves behind her nieces and nephews, Keith (Kate) Cohen, Gina (Kenneth) Szesznat, Christine (Christopher) Lenaghan, Joseph (Paula) Zappone, Jr., Elizabeth Zappone, Charles MacGowan IV, and Rosalie MacGowan, a dozen more great-nieces and nephews, and many more relatives and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 25, 2010, at 9am in Blessed Sacrament Church, Central Ave. Albany. Relatives and friends are invited and may call at the Daniel Keenan Funeral Home, 490 Delaware Ave., Albany on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 from 3-8pm. Interment will be in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Fr. Peter G. Young Foundation, PO Box 4065, Albany, NY 12204, or to the charity of one’s choice.