obit pg 6 11-9-23

Mary Frey Dempsey
DAYVILLE — Remembered by many as the quietly gracious First Lady of Connecticut from 1961 to 1971, Mary Frey Dempsey, widow of Governor John Dempsey, has died Oct. 30, 2023, at home in Dayville, in the 105th year of her life.
She was born on the original Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, in Pawtucket, R.I., the third of five children of Carl A. and Margaret Sampson Frey.
Like so many, her family followed the textile industry from Rhode Island to Massachusetts to Connecticut.
It was in Putnam in January of 1934, that she met her future husband. They married at Saint Mary’s Church in Warren, R.I., on July 27, 1940, and then settled, making Putnam their home.
They became parents to four children, three sons and one daughter.
On Jan. 24, 1961, after Mass in their parish church, they set off for life in the Governor’s Residence in Hartford, for what would become their new home for the next 10 years. Though never a great devotee of public life, Mary resolved to continue to be what she most wanted to be, a good wife and a good mother.
After 10 years in office, the Dempseys moved to Mumford Cove, Groton, for the ensuing 17 years. In late 1988, the couple returned to The Quiet Corner and Alexander’s Lake in Dayville, for what would be the final months of the governor’s life. He died there July 16, 1989.
She is the last of her family of origin as she was predeceased by her parents, her brother, Carl Frey, and her sisters Genevieve Frey, Rita Bush, and Margaret Molleur, as well as a niece, Patricia Davidson and a nephew, Frank Riley.
She leaves children and their families: Father Ed and Tim Oliver of Woodstock, John, Jr. and Dot Maynard of Dayville, Margaret and David Gankofskie of Willington, and Kevin and Marilynn (Lynn) of West Hartford; 10 grandchildren: Darren, Jessica, Brian, Stephen, Katie, John, III, James, Patrick, Brendan, and Gemma, as well as 16 great-grandchildren: Desmond, David, Jordan, Maya, Jamill, John, IV, Everett, Brooklynn, Hunter, Page, Mia, Arianna, Noelle, Logan, Grace, Mckenna, and three great-great-grandchildren: Abigail, Teddy, and Bennett; two nieces, Joan Bennett and Mary Margaret Bennett, and a nephew, Frederick Riley.
The Funeral will be celebrated with visitation from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Nov. 10 at St. Mary of the Visitation, Putnam, and then a Mass of Christian Burial at noon.  Burial will be private. Donations: Dempsey Neonatal Nurses Training Endowment Fund, The UConn Foundation, P.O. Box 712659; Philadelphia, PA  19171-2659. Gilman and Valade Funeral Homes and Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam.


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