CHELMSFORD - Mary E. (McCarthy) St.Hilaire, of Chelmsford, died on Saturday, March 2, 2019 surrounded by her family at Lowell General Hospital, following a brief illness.
She was born in Lowell on November 8, 1938 and was a daughter of the late Charles F. and Mary E. (Farley) McCarthy.
Mary was a graduate of Chelmsford High School, Class of 1956. With the exception of a few years early in her marriage, she was a lifelong resident of the Westlands neighborhood in Chelmsford.
In the late 1960's, she was a Sales Representative for Avon Products. Mary was a life member of the Chelmsford Democratic Town Committee. In 1972, she ran for the open position of Town Clerk in Chelmsford defeating several opponents. She ran unopposed every 3 years until 1989, serving for over 30 years. She was appointed to the position following Town of Chelmsford Charter Commission reorganization of government. Mary was a Justice of the Peace for over 30 years performing many marriage ceremonies in the Chelmsford area.
In her position as Town Clerk, Mary assisted the Board of Registrars who conducted all the local, state and federal elections. She spent many days preparing and worked many long hours during elections. She was an advocate for electronic voting systems. She was a Certified Municipal Clerk as she continuously trained and kept up to date with the changing role of her profession. She was an active member of the Massachusetts Municipal Clerks Association and the New England Association of City and Town Clerks.
She enjoyed her position and she was blessed with an incredible and dedicated staff in her office who made the job fun. Mary counseled many individuals who contemplated and eventually ran for public office, many who went on later to successful county, state and federal elected positions. She treated everyone equally and fairly, she never played favorites.
In addition to her position as Chelmsford Town Clerk, Mary served on many community organizations and government committees, including Vice Chair of the Town of Chelmsford Charter Commission (1989), Chelmsford Commission on Disability for 10 years advocating that all public polling places be made handicap accessible, Town of Chelmsford Ethics By-Law Committee (1990), coordinated the Chelmsford 911 into the Massachusetts Enhanced 911 Emergency Telephone system, H.E.L.P. Camp Paul Holiday Fundraiser for 35 years along with Carol St. Germain, the Southwell Park Renovation Committee, and founding member of the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association, serving on the Board of Directors and other committees for more than 20 years. She was proudly inducted into the Chelmsford High School Hall of Fame in 1996.
Following her retirement as Town Clerk, Mary accepted an appointment as a Commissioner to the Chelmsford Housing Authority in 2003. She was active with the CHA advocating for and assisting others with the maintenance and construction of affordable housing for many families and seniors in the community until her death. She was honored by the CHA and her fellow Commissioners in 2016 for her 40+ years of dedicated service to the Town of Chelmsford and the community. The Community building at the newly constructed Chelmsford Woods complex was named, The Mary E. St.Hilaire Community Center in her honor, which she humbly accepted in a dedication surrounded by her family and many friends.
Mary was the devoted mother of Mark V. St.Hilaire (Kristen Arnold) of Natick, Massachusetts, Matthew P. St.Hilaire of North Chelmsford and Martha A. Rappe of Chelmsford. She was the loving Gram and Nana of Matthew St.Hilaire, Brianna Rappe, Joseph St.Hilaire, Rose St.Hilaire and Mario St.Hilaire. She welcomed her first great grandchild, Brian last summer and they entertained each other with loving smiles daily. Mary also leaves her brother, Charles P. McCarthy and his wife Joan, sister-in-law Doris McCarthy, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Phillip McCarthy, sister and brother-in-law, Judith A. Olsson and her husband Carl and her former husband, Vincent F. St.Hilaire.
Her family was her first love and her home was the center of many dinners, talks at the kitchen table, pool parties, grandchildren sleepovers and watching all the Boston sports teams and their championship games. She entertained everyone and she always welcomed visitors and received telephone calls. She loved all her friends, many who were lifelong (Anne Marie (Crowe) Sheeran & Joan (Dodge) Weilbrenner) and she loved her lunch and dinner dates at various restaurants around town.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the MARY ST.HILAIRE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP in care of the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association, 6 Overlook Drive Chelmsford, MA 01824.
At her request, services and interment will be private.
Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Mary's Life on Friday, May 10, 2019, 7:00 - 11:00 pm at the Chelmsford Lodge of Elks, 300 Littleton Rd., Chelmsford.