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Southie Mother All-stars

The Honor Roll

They had a half dozen kids or more. They cooked, cleaned, did mountains of laundry and mended clothes.  Kissing scraped knees, breaking up sibling rivalries and having a hug at the ready was part of their job. They instilled family values and were the heart of the family.  Here is our honor roll of All-Star South Boston Mothers. (We realize this is just the tip of the iceberg so send us the names that we missed – [email protected])

Send along your Old School Southie photos of your moms! We are working on a story and maybe your photo will be featured!  (above photo: me, my mom and my brother circa 1974 in South Boston.)

Bridie Keane

Catherine O’Toole

Cathy Flynn

Catty Sullivan

Doris Allen

Doris Noonan

Dot O’Neil

Elaine McGuire

Helen Davenport

Helen Farmer (13 children)

Hon Rooney

Jackie Lee

Jean Lavey

Marie Morris

Marion Ritz

Mary Bulger

Mary Bulger Hurley

Mary Maiullari

Mary Sylvester

Nancy Lee

Peggy Coughlin

Ronnie Barrett

Sis Lunnin

Pricilla Miller

Mary Collins

Nancy Moynihan

Rita Dolley

Nora King

Ethel McDonough

Mary MacDonald

MaryAnne Miller

Peggy Itri

Lee Burke

Debbie Walsh

Karen Regan

Mary McCarthy Collins

Lynne Adams

Ann Adams

Jeanette Greeley

Ethel Jane McDonough Hayden

Lorayne Joyce Carberry

Monica Sullivan

Mary Donovan

Mary (Jane) Rheault

Jayne Rheault Talbot

Paula O’Brien Ferris

Dorothy Jennings Uftring

Jacqueline Lavery

Dorothy Warwick

Linda Leeman

Jacqueline Jankowski

Sheila Horrocks

Christine Medeiros

Lori Andrews

Arlene McDonough

Jeannie OToole

Ursula Cunniff

Mary Boyle

Helen McDougall

Mary Mahoney

Vera Wilson

Peggy Carey

Joanne Kuzmich

Catty Sullivan

Mary Mahoney

Anna Kerkorian

Peg Delaney (13 Children)

Gertrude J. Chapin

Leanne Burke

Joan Carthas

Debra Keaney

Nancy Farma

Barbara Coyne

Marie Andrews

Cathy Fromm

Susan Gailunas

Dolly Talbot

Theresa Burgess

Coleen Carroll

Theresa Fleming

Judy Lee Yetman

Anne “Patsy” Paige

Pat Lescinskas

Diane Applegate

Betty Buckley

Mary Woods

Roseanne Casper

Linda Delaney

Audrey Mikshenas

Jacquelynne O’Toole

Edie Linhen

Ellie Ward

Stella Kasianowicz (Babci)

Emma Ward

Rose Dana Downey

Betty Curley

Janice Hynes

Ann Kennedy

Edie Morrill

Ellen Folan

Susan Linehan Rooney

Pat Walsh McCarthy

Mary Ellen Walsh Ryan

Mary McCormack

Dawna LaMonica

Dolly Cushman

Kay Evans

Peggy Cosetta

Mary Flohr

Patricia Finn

Ellie Cherry

Mary Ustach

Frances Platukis

Kathleen O’Shea

Chickie Kennedy

Shirley Toland

Virginia Toland

Mary Van Osdol

Mary Barbara Walsh

Nancy McCarthy

Sherry Tradd

Mary Joyce (17 children)

Helen McCormick

Mary Duncan Porter Wiseman

Jean Parenteau DeVoy

Peggy Foley

Rita Cuddyer

Nancy Foley

Irene Comeau

Eileen (Sis) Dwyer

Margaret England

Mary Ghella

Katherine Rogers Concannon

Meg Perkins

Honey Earner

Jacqueline Gregorio (10 children)

Betty Lafferty (11 children)

Kit McGrath

Joyce Lebedew

Barbara Lebedew

Betty Sweeney

Doris Feeney Kenney

Dotty Bothwell

Peg Greene

Paula Neff

Claire Bailey Reale

Flo Logan

Pamela Mazzeo

Peggy Flaherty

Carol Ryan

Leona McLaughlin

Claire Thomas

Ruthann “Donnelly” Lee 5 children

Marie Coveney Lawson

Rita Orsini

Jamie O’Bryan

Diane Collins

Carol Brand

Diane “Didi” Sleeper

Anne L. Butler

Bridget Bridie O’Donnell

Winne Coleman

Jean C. Walsh had 10 children and raised 4 grandchildren.

Rose Hayes Leonard had 7 children.

Ma Goyette had 9 children.

Eileen McQueen

Mary O’Haire McQueen

Mrs Cunningham

Anna Brown

Peggy Lawson Joly – 8 children – 84 grandchildren/great grandchildren – lived until she was 101 years old!

Peggy Alcione

Marcia Fallon

Janet Lynch

Donna Harland – 7 kids plus foster kids!

Janice McNeil – 6 kids

Jessica Nauyokas-ZIngg

Gertie Nauyokas

Mary McKunes – 7 kids – 14 grandchildren

Marie Lane Dunker 7 kids

Erica Greene

Marie Butler

Rita Shea

Agnes Loftus 7 kids

Lizzy Loftus 5 kids

Mary Schallmo Carroll – 7 kids

Barbara Juliano  9 kids

Alice Dubreuil  5 kids

Maria Juliano

Jo Manning 9 children, 22 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren

Amy Mulrooney

Virginia Curran

Christine O’Brien

Mary C. O’Brien

Ann Novicki 9 kids

Mary Quigley

Mary Larosa

Maryellen Walsh – 8 Children.

Vivian Martin –  8 children.

Mary Devin, 10 children

Theresa Doyle

Margaret Ahern

Mary McNally 6 kids

Cathrine (Kay) O’Connor 7 kids

Nancy Lydon

Sarah Fitzpatrick- 5 children- 18 grandchildren and 1great grandchild

Mrs. Shiner

Linda Cahill

Jeanne Marie Feeney

Lorraine “Rainey” Gurley

Alice Princiotta – 16 kids

Eleanore Shoulla

Anna Turner – 7 children

Christine OBrien

Mary C. OBrien

Ann Novicki  – 9 kids

Florence Shelter – 6 kids

Kristen Weeks

Annie Downey

Beverly Spencer

June Greig Byrne

Kristin Heather Tinlin

Donna Camillo

Beverly Hosea

Kerry Turner

Deb O’Mara

Rosemary Berlandi

Janet Bartel

Ginny Bates

Lucy O’Brien

Margie O’Brien

Pat Brown

Catherine O’Brien (mother of 12)

Rita O’Brien

Nancy O’Brien

Peggy Ronca

Lynne Ronca

Rose Rosa

Grace Ann Powers-Walsh

Bridget Nee Walsh

Donna Quigg

Nora Madden

Ellie Hart

Lisa Noll

Chrissie Lane-Garceau

Ruth Bernardi

Peg Mahoney

Flo Young

Dot Roache

Mary Downs

Maryann KaneJoannie Jankowski

Jeanne Jankowski

Maureen Galewski

Donna Baldwin

Karen Ceurvels

Marianne Baiona

Irene McDonald

Ellen Felton

Kathy Rae

Jennifer Higgins

Jan Aughe

Marie Marshman

Nancy Pickup

Margaret Steiner

Nancy Carter

Courtney Sheppeck

Catherine Hurley

Catherine Kane

Dianne Paull

Kristine Lynch

Jessica Lynch

Caitlin Lynch

Kayleigh Adams

Shannon McCormick

Betty Kelley

Marianne Baiona

Terry Ryan

Elizabeth Breen

Betty Breen

Louise “Ma Higgs” Higgins

Kathleen Ryan

Jackie Young

Diane Yanovitch

Mary Glynn

Loretta Balboni

Theresa Mirowski

Dottie Conley – 6 children, 17 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren

Joan McPhee – 6 children, 12 grandchildren, 5 great children

Joanne Callahan

Mary Callahan

Mary Quigley – 6 children, let the sons’ band practice in the basement.

Virginia Crowe

Midge Manning

Kay Farrell

Pat Sheehey

Elaine “Stacy” Flaherty, former Mayor of South Boston

Patsy Kelley

Andrea Linehan

Helen Pano

Blanche Linehan

Elizabeth (Sis) Rouse Welch (7 children)

Doris Stapleton

Maureen “Sis” Salmanowich

Dottie McDougall

Ellie Cherry

Rita Doherty

Peggy Dowling

Mary Ustach

Ann Maguire

Sis Cloherty

Florence “Flossie” McDonough

Mary Smart White

Lee Ahern

Jackie Conway

Eileen Quinn

Eileen Dwyer 7 children

Pauline Morgan

Lillian Stewart (9 kids)

Nina Hayes

Jenna Fitzgerald

Agnes Hayes

Joanie Hayes

Katie Hayes Corbitt

Maureen Norton

Mary Jane O’Brien

Jane Good

Janice McCarthy 

Doreen Finnegan’

Erin Alexander

Vera Segerstedt Farley

Veronica Lydon

Bernadette O’Sullivan 

Mary McDonough (10 kids)

Nancy Menjin

Stacey Menjin

Pauline Sidonio McCarthy – 7 children

Mildred Powell – 6 kids, 17 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren

Margaret Fagan 

Geraldine Lennon-Abban

Donna “Nanny” Coakley

Elaine Malone

Helen Anderson

Carole Nee

Donna Wallace

Maria Blasi

Mary Mercier

Patty McKinnon

Helen Alix

Debby Flaherty

Ann Flaherty

Dolly Lowe

Janice McNeil 

Judy Hartnett

Dolores Coffey

Kathleen Mahon Christian

Dorothy Christian

Katelyn Kilburn

Mary Orton – 10 children

Patricia Bolstad – 6 children

Christine Griffin  – 7 children

Joy Lindenfelzer

Jacqueline Moynihan

Lizzy Ferris

Popo Roberts

Ann Valle 

Margie Lee Parenteau

Betty LeClair – 7 children 

Shoe Shoe DeGrandis – 6 children 

Penny Murphy – 8 children

Mary (Cann) Fleming

Helen McCormick

Joanne King – 7 children, 18 grandchildren + 3 great grandchildren

Kimberly Watson

Colleen Watson Dunlap

Donna Rosher Watson

Dawn Watson

Tracy Malone

Donna O’Brien

Sally Belmonte

Mary Hurley(91) Mother of 6 grandmother to 18 great grandmother to 10.

Patricia O’Neil

Sandra Dinsmore  4 children then raised her 4 grandchildren then raised 4 great grandchildren

Ellen Shiner

Dianne Horne

Khrissy Dinsmore

Tiffany Horne

Donna Anglin-Heafey mother of 6 

Claire Thomas ( 7 kids)

Alice Dubreuil  mother of 5, grandmother of 8,  great grandmother of 9 and great great grandmother to 1 granddaughter 

Barbra Juliano, mother of 9, grandmother of 25, great grandmother of 35 and great great grandmother of 7

Helen Romikitis 9 children

Patricia Connors- mother of 6, grandmother 16, great grandmother of 11 and great-great grandmother of 2.

Jacqueline Connors

Elizabeth Lombard – mother of 5, grandmother of 3

Alena Flohr 

Anna Powers

Kelly Powers 

Patricia Nemet 

Doris (Feeney) Kenney – 9 children

Sarah Eileen McQueen aka Ma McQueen to the kids in D street projects, 7 children, 28 grandchildren, 32 great grandchild, 5 great great grandchildren

Helen Hurley 6 kids,18 grandchildren

Noreen Fitzmaurice

Peggy Kinneavy 7 kids

Jeanne Mogan

Laurie Mogan

Peggy McGowan Gaide

Happy Mother’s Day!

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.


  1. Joe Leeman says

    My wife of 5 years, Linda Glennon Leeman is truly a SOUTHIE GEM. Ask anyone!!! I am one lucky Charlestown Townie!!!!  Happy Mothers Day

  2. John Kane says

    Happy Mothers Day to my great grandmother Helen Farmer, and her daughter, who is my grandmother, Helen Davenport…remarkable what they did for their kids growing up, all my relatives and I were so grateful to have these women show us their love all year round unconditionally…I love you both, and Happy Mothers Day to my mother Maryann Kane who raised both me and my twin sister Colleen as a single parent since we were 2 years old…Strong female figures in my life that are such an inspiration of what a parent should be, no matter the difficulty in life, no one went without LOVE!!!
  3. Matty McDONOUGH says

    It is a wonderful feeling any time I am reminded about my sister Catty Sullivan.

    She was also an All Star Sister and Aunt. 

  4. Judy McCarthy says

    My mom raised 7 children as a loving protective traditional mom. Dinner every night promptly at 5 (a huge meal cooked and might add a delicious meal) even though it was probably torture for her, seven kids fighting but we always left he table with a kiss to her and the comment “very good supper ma” I will forever be grateful for the values she instilled in me that I have carried on to my own family. She truly is one of a kind and definitely deserves the recognition here’s to my mom Judy ostiguy!
  5. Heather Allen says

    So happy to see my mother-in-law, Doris Allen, on the list.  She truly is one of the most wonderful women I’ve ever had the priviledge to know.  I often say, I aspire to be half the mother and woman she is.  Love you Doris!!

  6. Gina Melchione says

    My mom Lynne Adams has been through so much in life & has always managed to stay strong with a smile on her face & say “I will be ok”…..She has been the most loving, caring, giving, generous mother anyone could ask for in life! If I had one wish, my wish would be for my mom to live the rest of her life HAPPY!! She has instilled in my sister, my brother & myself so many morals & values! I am so grateful for the best mom from Southie EVER!!!

  7. christileonard says

    My Mom, Jane Hayden, was a warm, funny and loving Mother who loved her kids more than anything and protected us always! There isn’t a day I don’t miss her! Love u, Mom! Happy Mothers Day!
  8. John O'Toole says

    Ma there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of your warm smile, loving hugs and words of encouragement.

    Not sure how you raised 6 kids after Dad passed but you did. I guess it was your faith in God and in yourself and us that got you thru it all.

    I still joke with John and Colleen when we run into a  new situation that needs  some thought and we say ” What Would Nana Do” (WWND)

    Ma the love and carring that you raised your six children has been the template for each of us to raise our own children.


  9. Lovey says

    Every South Boston Mom I know is great. Anyone can be a Mother but it takes someone great to be a Mom or Ma!!!!! I always love my Mama. She’s my favorite girl.
  10. Joe Itri says

    Glad to see my Mom make the list. It is definately well deserved. There was never a dull moment around the Itri household. How my Mother got 9 of us up, got breakfast into us, got us dressed and off to school I’ll never know. I bet all my brothers & sisters, deep down inside, think they were her favorite. I love you Mom and Happy Mother’s Day!

  11. joanne says

    Peggy carey is her name and i have nother southie mother of ten Joanne Kuzmich
  12. Ellen Carey-Felton says

    Thank you so much for remembering my Mom – wish I knew who you were!

    My Mom is Margaret (Peggy) Carey and whoever knows her, knows she is simply the BEST!!! I actually wrote a story of my Mom a few years ago on here and my Mom WON Mother of the Year!! A title that she wins everyday to all 11 of her kids, she is amazing and beautiful! I am truly blessed with the Best Mom!!

  13. Audrey lunnin-Mikshenas says

    Raised 7 children and a bunch of nieces, nefews and friends always at our house , she was kind sweet and always smiling
  14. Patty Lee - Mahoney says

    Although she’s no longer with us I would like you to add my mother in-law Mary Mahoney she raised 10 kids . She was on of the most incredible woman I’ve ever met . She’d been through alot & continued to be happy & sweet . Anyone that knew Ma Mahoney had nothing but the nicest things to say about her . She had class .Love & Miss u Ma Mahoney .
  15. Jacquelynne Kerkorian says

    I have had quite a few strong women in my life my grandmothers Elizabeth Sis Lunnin an Anna Kerkorian. My great grandmo him m mm.
  16. Janice Deady Buckley says

    Peg Delaney, 13 children, from L & East Second Street and Mary Deady would helped her raise them all.

  17. Lori Andrews says

    Please add my mother Marie Andrews to this list. She was a remarkable woman.
  18. Lori Andrews says

    Can you please add my mother, Marie Andrews or as she was known by everyone M.A.  She was a remarkable woman.

  19. Cherylinn says

    My mom, Cathy Fromm is the #1 best mother and grandmother of all time! With 4 kids of her own and 10 grandbabies, my moms house is always clean and you can’t leave without a full belly of delicious home cooking! ( she also will send you home with plenty of leftovers!) Growing up with 3 siblings was nothing but a blessing for me, I don’t know how she did it, but my siblings and I have never had a single fight and we remain ridiculously close to this day! I can always count on my mom to be there for me whenever I need her. And she has taught me one of the most important rules of life, which is her favorite saying “you get what you allow!” Thanks ma for everything you do for me and my kids! We love you to the moon and back!
  20. Florence Logan mcdonough says

    I’m one lucky woman to of had a beautiful grandmother that adopted me.
    As toddler.
  21. Mary Lou says

    Took me right out of the hospital!    Had 12 of her own, then I was the “baby”, lucky13.   Worked cleaning houses to put me through Catholic School.   Will never forget that she took me in and did not have to, gave me a wonderful home, she has been deceased since 1973 and it seems like yesterday that I saw her wonderful smiling face.   Miss her so. 

  22. Chrissy Donoghue says

    Flo Connolly, 7 kids, 3 jobs between herself & my Pa & still put on family dinner every Sunday & every holiday. So many awesome Southie Moms that we all know & love but none like my Nana
  23. Cherylinn says

    My mama is the best mother & nana in the world! I would be lost without her! Happy mother’s day mama! We love you!
  24. Chrissy Calnan Xayavong says

    Anne Butler…..7 kids….20+ grandchildren….20+ Great-Grandchildren…5+ Great-Great Grandchildren (Hope I got that right). Love & Miss you Nana Butlah
  25. Pat Lavey says

    Happy mothers Day to a mother who always put all eight of us first. Growing up she had a way of treating you like you were the favorite ( She would take me on the train over to Colmans in Quincy center and buy me my Adidas superstar sneakers then some lunch, just us) I loved it. I’m sure my brothers and sisters have their own story but she told me personally ( when you guys were not around ,that I was her favorite)seriously my mother made time for all of us and we are better people having her in our lives,so to you lizzy from all of us thank you for all you have done for US Happy Mothers Day ,The Laveys
  26. Karen Ceurvels says

    My mom is Joanne Kuzmich the mother of ten God Bless her.  We love her dearly.

  27. Karen Ceurvels says

    I am proud to call  Joanne Kuzmich my mom.  She is one funny woman.    Who doesn’t love her?

  28. Ellen wright says

    I am am honored to call Jeanne Lavey my mom! I don’t know how she did! She rocks…..
  29. Debbie Griffin says

    My wonderful mother Claire Connolly, who raised 10 kids. She did it all, she was there for us always. She was on the fore front when busing started. Ma stayed at home to take care of us until dad got sick, then she went to work as a waitress. She could be tough when needed, and always strong. Happy Mother’s Day to my wonderful mother in heaven, Claire Connolly.
  30. Coonie O'Shea-Reeves says

    Our MOM Kathleen O’Shea is a Loving, Woderful and Caring Mom to 11 Children. She has 10 GIRLS and 1 BOY!  She also has numerous Grandchildren and Great Grandchilden.  Happy Mother’s Day MOM we LOVE you! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s.

  31. Molly Kennedy Pedriali says

    Even more than a Southie All Star Mother, Chickie Kennedy is an All Star Grandmother as well!  Her and my Dad, Frank Kennedy, have been there for all eight of us through many ups and downs and all-arounds.  All eight being very different, yet having the same core strength, Frank and Chickie!  Team Kennedy STRONG….

  32. Susan Lapaglia says

    My mom is the best. She is the most caring, loving mom in the world! Happy Mothers Day Mom!!
  33. Patsy DeVoe says

    Please add my mother Edna Evans, she is a very strong woman, she has been though a lot but keeps on going, and still goes to work ever day and she is 85.
  34. christine Thomas says

    7 Kids 1 set of twins. Happy Mothers Day!! We all miss you very much xoxo

  35. KATHIE SHEA says

    MOTHER OF 9. Couldn't have asked for a more loving and hard working woman.









    Mother of 9. The most loving hard working mother I was blessed to call her my MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




  36. Mary Earner Kreuz says

    My mom is Honey Earner, best Mother a girl could ever ask for.  She raised 6 children and we all appreciate her more than words could ever say.  I love you mom a whole field and more, xoxo




  37. jamie ryan says

    Can My mom make the list Carol Ryan. at 19 she took care of her 3 younger brothers and sisters (parents passed) and had 5 of her own…. Did loads of work at Gate of Heaven too. And I also heard she used to sweat at gillette and owned Krause insurance.

  38. Holly long says

    My mom died when I was just 5weeks old, but my nana Peggy Flaherty known by our friends as(nana flaherty)stepped in an raised me & my brother w/my dad!She also raised my cousin Sean,and my daughter along with my mom an my uncle! Age was the strongest woman I’ve ever had the honor of knowing!! Everyone loved my Nana, who wouldn’t? Who else raises three generations of kids and holds a job an a house down? They don’t make them like that anymore! I love you Nana an miss you everyday, love Holly
  39. Pamela MAZZEO says

  40. pamela McDonough says

    MISS YOU???
  41. Deb Reale Oakley says

    Forgot to add a very important piece of informatiion! My mother's name was Claire Bailey Reale!

  42. David Sullivan says

    Sad to report one of the original great mothers passed away in Feburary.