Cover photo for Marie Kavanaugh's Obituary
Marie Kavanaugh Profile Photo
1928 Marie 2019

Marie Kavanaugh

February 11, 1928 — December 15, 2019

Marie P Kavanaugh

Feb 11, 1928-Dec 15, 2019

Marie (Ma) was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a sister-in-law to many, an Aunt to even more, and a good and close friend to countless people.

She was born Marie Parsons before she became a Kavanaugh. Marie grew up in Boston’s “Southie” neighborhood which in her time was pretty much a beach town within the hustle of Boston. She told stories of her parents, Sarah and Charlie, just opening the door to let the kids out for the day and three blocks away they’d spend hours at the shore.

Marie was the youngest of five. She adored her only brother Charlie, who it was told, was likely known as ‘Prince Charles’ by his four sisters and was also more than a handful as a child. Charlie shipped off to WW2, then returned to start a family of his own. Marie spent those summer days with her sisters Eleanor, Rita, and Kathleen who no doubt looked after their little sister. The Parsons were known as champion swimmers in Boston, effortless strokes back and forth between the Beach House fence which, by the way, still stands in Boston Harbor. Marie learned well; when swimming she was in her element, powerful yet elegant, quiet, precise strokes and definitely no splash! (Guess you know that all her kids can swim.)

Marie was the last of her family’s generation. But, we do have cousins from the Parsons side: Charlie & Mary Parsons kids: Carole (deceased), and her husband Bob Tyler, Lee (Don) Schramm, Gail Parsons, Charles ‘Chip’ Parsons (deceased), Jan Parsons, Fay (Greg) Schoenherr; John & Kathleen Flynn’s son Andrew Flynn and Eleanor & David Hickey’s sons: David (deceased) and Daniel Hickey.

After WW2 Marie Parsons happened to be vacationing at a Dude Ranch in the NE whereupon she met her own handsome prince, Lloyd M Kavanaugh. Now Lloyd was from a big family, too. He had seven brothers and sisters. (Lawrence, Genevieve, Daniel, Gene, Mary Lou, Joan and Patricia). So, when Lloyd and Marie met and fell in love and married the church must have been at least half full with brothers and sisters parents and cousins, etc.. Lloyd and Marie wed in 1949.

There are many cousins on the Kavanaugh side, too. Too many to name, but our grandmother Louisa Kavanaugh, (husband Daniel), had a plaque in her living room that showed all her 8 children and their spouses with each family’s kids pictured underneath. Imagine it framed on red velvet, I can. There were, I think, photos of Kavanaugh’s, Shemwell’s, Muench’s and Swarthout’s, 33 cousins all pictured on small buttons.

Now in between working as a draft artist, a sales clerk, a switchboard operator, and a church volunteer Marie had kids. Lots of them!

Her main job was wife and mother. Here we go: Marie is predeceased by her beloved husband, Lloyd M Kavanaugh; daughter Joan Gensler and son Neal Kavanaugh. Survived by her children, James (Kathleen) Kavanaugh, John Kavanaugh, Ann (Michael) Holsworth, Michael (Ann) Kavanaugh, Mary Kay (Tom) McNallan and Timothy Kavanaugh; son-in-law Joseph Gensler; ex daughters-in-law Jodie Kavanaugh, Cyndi Oerman and Carole Kavanaugh and Marie’s sister-in-law Joan Swarthout and brother-in-law Elwood Shemwell.

Now, there are many stories to tell about our mother and the Irish Wake will take care of that part of her legacy.

Marie was known as “Ma” by all the kids in the neighborhood and many of our adult friends, too. It was a title she earned with an easy smile, she liked having fun, was extremely social, and loved and was proud of all her children even when we weren’t always known for making her proud. She also had good and strong friends like our Aunt Joan. For years the two of them talked almost every day, hung out together for weeks at a time, and I’m sure they laughed and cried over more family secrets than we know of.

Marie was a woman of strong faith, a lifetime Parishioner at Sacred Heart Cathedral and active at Holy Cross Church. A native of Boston and a gifted poet, she took a strong interest in every person she met with her friendship, Irish wit and warm smile. Needless to say being a mother was a life filled with a lot of happy times, but her share of hardships, too.

Our mother nursed and buried her husband over 40 years ago. Her heart was broken again when she lost her youngest daughter, Joan, to cancer 6 years ago and it hurt again when her son Neal passed on before her. Life wasn’t always easy, but she faced it head on. Often writing her feelings down in insightful poems that would then grace family and friends.

Marie lived to see 16 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. She was especially close to her two grandchildren Kyle (Lyndsey) and Sarah Gensler who grew up in the same home that she lived in. But she loved them all: Jim’s sons Brendan (Tayla) Kavanaugh and Ryan Kavanaugh; John’s kids Jamie (Leah) Kavanaugh & Bayley (Jeff) Warner; Ann’s son Jesse Holsworth; Neal’s kids Jonathan Kavanaugh, Georgia (David) Barker and Katie (Nick) Rossow; Mary Kay’s daughters Erin (Dirk) Irvin, Kelley McNallan, and Shannon (Chad) Kossar; Mike’s sons Sean (Amanda) Kavanaugh and Brian Kavanaugh, and Tim’s son Daniel Kavanaugh.

Our mother loved her step-grandchildren too: Joleen Oerman, Chloe Pollet (Mom Breanna), Roxanne Sook and Jimmy Banta.

Marie is the great-grandmother to: Alexis Kavanaugh, The Rowdy A’s - Aiden and Alice Warner, Camden and Karysn Barker, Hunter Irwin, Sonia Friday-Kavanaugh, Ryland Rossow and Harper Kavanaugh.

Most importantly:

Marie P Kavanaugh loved many and was loved in return. She’ll always be a part of us and we thank her for giving us life and so much more. She leaves behind six children, who aren’t so child anymore, sixteen grand children, a gaggle of those great grandchildren and many, many relatives and friends - a life well lived, nice work Ma! Godspeed, you are loved!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marie Kavanaugh, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation at Funeral Home

Friday, January 10, 2020

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Farrell - Ryan Funeral Home

777 Long Pond Road, Rochester, NY 14612

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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