Danvers and Lincolnville — Mary J. St. Charles, 83, died peacefully on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
Born on September 12, 1930, in Danvers, Mass., she was the daughter of Joseph and Margaret Munroe Murphy. Educated locally, she was a graduate of Danvers High School in 1948, where she culminated her high school career by earning the school’s “Citizen of the Year” award.
Following high school, Mary attended Salem State College in Salem, Mass., where she earned a Bachelor of Science in education in 1952. Mary often remarked about the many friends she made there. After graduating college, Mary began her career with the Danvers Public School System, where she taught grades K-8. During her time teaching, she continued her own education, earning a Master of Education from Boston University in 1963.
Mary married Edward St. Charles of Salem at Saint Annunciation Church on February 22, 1967.
After giving birth to her son in 1971, she returned to work as the Director of Special Education for the Danvers Public School System. While Mary had already attained her master’s degree, she continued her professional development by taking additional courses through Boston College and Fitchburg State College throughout the 1970s and 1980s. She retired from education as the Director of Special Education in 1989.
Following her retirement, Mary and Ed followed their dream and made their South Thomaston summer home their permanent residence. For many years, they had spent summers fixing up the home they had owned since 1975. With Ed as a gentlemen farmer, Mary tended the flower gardens, making the home a showcase.
She was an enthusiastic philanthropist, spending most of her free time volunteering. She gave of her time and herself at the St. Bernard’s Soup Kitchen for many years. She also assisted with the coordination of church events and Sunday school. Mary was recognized as the Rockland Share the Pride Association’s Citizen of the Month for her efforts supporting the Soup Kitchen in 1997. In the article she downplayed her role and simply said, “We enjoy what we do. It seems we work harder in retirement than ever, but it is most enjoyable.” The Maine Lighthouse Museum was also near and dear to her heart, and she spent many hours volunteering there.
However, children were always her first love and she continued to be instrumental in their lives, giving of her expertise and time in the local schools. She received additional recognition throughout the 1990s and 2000s for her volunteer efforts including Mid-Coast Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for Exemplary Service and South Street School: Valuable Volunteer Award.
She was a voracious reader and loved to bake. She was well known for her whoopee pies, often baking hundreds of them and other baked goods for her son’s fraternity. He said his fraternity brothers loved to have his mother visit.
She will be missed by all who knew her.
Mary is survived by her husband, Edward St. Charles; her son, Edward J. St. Charles and his wife, Bevin; her granddaughter, Madalin St. Charles, all of Lincolnville; her brother, Joseph Murphy and his wife, Beverly, of West Newbury, Mass.; as well as two nephews and a niece, Patrick, Matthew and Colleen Murphy.
ARRANGEMENTS: Family and friends are invited to visit from 5 to 7 p.m., on Thursday, May 15, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., on Friday, May 16, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 150 Broadway, Rockland. A reception will follow immediately at 104 Limerock, the reception facility adjacent to the funeral home. Private interment at a later date will be held at St. Mary Annunciation Church Cemetery in Danvers.
Those who wish, may make memorial donations to either St. Bernard’s Soup Kitchen, 7 Union Street, Camden, Maine 04843, or St. Judes Childrens’ Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or online at www.StJude.org
To share a memory, or condolence with Mary’s family, please visit her Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.
Published on  May 13, 2014