(MOTHER OF BOSTON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT BILL LINEHAN)
Edith M. “Edie” (Hayes) Linehan of South Boston, a former teacher’s aide and devoted wife, mother and grandmother, passed away Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at Marian Manor in South Boston, following a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. She was 83 years old.
Edie was a lifelong resident of South Boston, as members of her family tree had lived in South Boston since the 1830’s.
Edie was a 1950 graduate of South Boston High School.
Edie married Jack Linehan, a World War II combat veteran on July 4th 1950. Over the first 14 years of their marriage, Jack and Edie had eight children. Money was tight, even with Jack working three jobs. Edie then went to work, as a waitress, clerk at Boston City Hospital, and finally a teacher’s aide at the Gavin Middle School in South Boston where she worked with special students struggling with behavioral issues.
Edie was a wonderful singer, who could light up a room with her voice and enthusiasm. As a young girl at the Boston Conservatory, she competed against experienced singers for a role in a Disney animated film. Despite not getting the role, Edie continued to sing and entertain until Parkinson’s Disease stripped her of her voice. All her life, Edie remained a music lover, particularly enthralled with Big Band music and Broadway show tunes.
Edie was firmly devoted to her family, which at one time included eight children, 21 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. Her oldest son, Bill, remembers her devotion to family: “As a teen, I remember our home was always an oasis for extended family, friends, and mothers-in-need. Dinner regularly included more than the 10 of us. Her love for people was infectious; she wanted to share her life with them. We didn’t have much, but we could always share with others in need.”
“She had a special place in her heart for those who chose to join her family, saying to the in-laws, ‘I’m not a Linehan either, so don’t worry, I’ll look out for you,” Bill adds.
On her 70th birthday in 2001, Edie’s family threw her a special party and fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. More than a thousand people came to celebrate with her and her family. A big band played and Edie was center stage as always, enjoying every minute of the celebration. The party raised $70,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Edie herself met acclaimed actor Michael J. Fox in Boston’s Theatre District that same year.
Beloved wife of the late John F. “Jack” Linehan, Edie was the devoted mother of William P. and his wife Judy; John G. “JL” and his companion Sharon Butler; Robert J., and his wife Paula of South Boston; Edith M. Morrill of Braintree and her late husband Daniel; Richard D. and his wife Karen of South Boston; Susan J. Rooney and her husband Thomas of Braintree; Claire A. Miller and her husband Robert; and Thomas J. Linehan of South Boston. She was also the dear sister-in-law of Doris Dill of New Hampshire, and loving cousin of the Hogan family. Edie is also survived by 19 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Visiting hours will be held in the O’Brien Funeral Home, 146 Dorchester St., South Boston on Friday, February 20, 2015 from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Monica Church, 331 Old Colony Ave., South Boston on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 10 a.m.
Interment will follow in Mt. Benedict Cemetery, West Roxbury. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.
To honor Edie, the family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Edie’s memory to South Boston Special Kids, 159 H St., South Boston, MA 02127, or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, PO Box 4777, New York, NY 10163.
Arrangements by O’Brien Funeral Home, South Boston.