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Retired teacher Mary Cahill passes away

DOWNEY – Longtime Downey resident Mary Margaret “Peg” Keogh Cahill died Sept. 22 in Seal Beach. She was 96.
Mary lived in Downey from 1950 until 2003 and was an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
She was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 15, 1916 and attended All Souls Elementary School and Ramona Convent in Alhambra, and Immaculate Heart College. She and her husband, Frank, were married in 1940 and lived in South Gate until December 1950, when they bought a house in Downey to accommodate their family of six.
Mary was a perennial den mother for her son’s Cub Scouts and her daughters’ Juniorettes troops. When their youngest child entered high school, Mary returned to college and attained a bachelor’s degree in English from Long Beach State. She went on to earn a secondary teaching credential and Master of Arts degree in special education.
While completing her bachelor’s degree, she attended a summer program at Uppsala University in Sweden.
She began her teaching career at Griffiths Junior High in the late 1960s and later transferred to Downey High School where she taught special education until her retirement in 1982.
After retirement, Mary studied Shakespeare at Cambridge University’s International Summer School program and she made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Egypt. For more than 10 years Mary volunteered as a “pink lady” at Downey Community Hospital.
She was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, Frank, in 1987; her eldest daughter, Mary “Liz” Smith, in 2001; and her only son, Thomas Cahill, in 1998.
She is survived by daughter Kathleen O’Cahill; daughter and son-in-law Ann and Tom Sciortino; daughter-in-law Ann Cahill; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. Two more great-grandchildren are expected in early 2014.
Services will be held Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary. Funerall Mass is Monday at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. Burial will be at Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Published: Sept. 26, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 24

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