Stapleton Family Funeral Home
and Crematorium Center

685 Park Ave Cranston, RI 02910 401-461-5050


Mary E. Roarke 12/15/2018



ROARKE, MARY E., 101, of Cranston passed away peacefully on December 15, 2018 at home surrounded by her family and loving caregiver. She was the beloved aunt of John F. Roarke whom she raised from a young age. Born and raised in Lowell, Mass., she was the daughter of the late John F. and Ellen T. (Lunney) Roarke, and the sister of the late John J. Roarke.

Mary graduated from the Burdette Business College in 1937. She had a varied career as both an executive secretary and secretary for companies that included Textron, Brown University, and Remington Arms. At work, Mary was known for her competence and thoroughness. At one point, while working for Textron, Mary found that two executives were fighting for her exclusive services. Workers overheard them saying that “she is worth her weight in gold”.

During WWII Mary worked in the medical department at Fort Devens, Mass., assisting doctors in the treatment of injured soldiers returning from the European theater. Later in the war when she worked for Remington Arms she asked her boss why there was such secrecy surrounding his being suddenly reassigned to New Mexico. “Oh, Mary”, he responded, “I can’t tell you, but I fear for all of humanity.”

Mary was trained in both piano and voice, but her lyric soprano voice was outstanding. During her younger years in Lowell, she was often showcased at many of the live talent venues of the time. The Lowell Sun newspaper frequently praised her beautiful solos.

Mary had a gift for genuine compassion that all who encountered her experienced. A devout Catholic, she worked as the secretary for the Immaculate Conception Church in Westerly during the 60’s after having moved there from Lowell. Later, upon moving to Cranston, she was a faithful communicant of St. Matthew Parish. Mary is survived by her nephew, John Roarke of Cranston, as well as many dear friends.

Visiting hours will be Wednesday Dec. 19th from 5-7 pm at the Stapleton Family Funeral Home, 684 Park Ave., Cranston, 02910. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday Dec. 20th at 9 am at St. Matthew Church, 1299 Elmwood Ave., Cranston. Burial will follow at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, 1251 Gorham St., Lowell, Mass. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Mary’s memory to her favorite causes; St. Matthew’s Church or the Diocese of Providence Catholic Charities.



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Stapleton Family Funeral Home and Crematorium Center
685 Park Ave Cranston, RI 02910 401-461-5050

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