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Mary (Ferris) Fraser
October 18, 1945 ~ August 11, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Mary Ferris Fraser, 77, of West Roxbury, passed peacefully surrounded by her family on August 11, 2023, after a long battle with cancer.
Born on October 18, 1945, in White Plains, New York, she was the daughter of Ruth and Leo Ferris, and the younger sister of James “Jimmy” Ferris. After graduating from Westchester Community College in 1965 from the medical technician program, Mary ventured up to Boston in search of independence and adventure. She began her 46-year career with the Deaconess Hospital in the Hematology lab and quickly became known for her intellect and persistence in deciphering complex lab results.
Mary could often be heard saying “let me just run the test again; something isn’t right”. Mary’s desire to get it right inevitably led to saving many lives over the years due to the early detection of anomalies and diseases. For many of her colleagues, Mary was the “go-to” when they had complicated test results.
It was during the first few years in Boston that Mary would meet her “sisterhood” (plus a few good men), a tight-knit circle of friends from the lab that would triumph through more than fifty years of shared milestones: birthdays, weddings, births of children, losses, hardships, and heartache. It was this very sisterhood that rallied to Mary’s side through the last years of true trial in her life. Mary repeatedly expressed how blessed she had been with true friends.
It was also during the initial years in Boston that Mary would meet her best friend and husband of almost 20 years, Donald Fraser. Mary and Don went on to welcome two children, Emily and Daniel, and created a very loving home in which creativity flourished and was encouraged. Mary especially found joy in celebrating the kids’ birthdays, artfully theming them around the seasons: pumpkin hunts and carving in October; Easter egg hunts and decorating in the Spring. Summers were filled with family trips in the old beat-up station wagon to Monhegan Island, while belting out
Simon and Garfunkel and Best Hits of the 1960s. Monhegan always held a special place in Mary’s heart. The family would also spend every Sunday in the summer at West Beach in Beverly Farms, creating cherished memories.
Mary loved intensely and gave wholeheartedly. Having faced numerous challenges in life, she had the gift of true empathy. In Mary’s presence, heavy hearts were met in a judgment-free space where they found solace and a comforting ear. Despite life’s adversities, Mary continued to seek the beauty in everyday life. This was reflected in her beautiful paintings of flowers, sunsets, and animals.
Mary is survived by her children, Daniel Fraser of Tampa, Florida, and Emily Fraser of Boston, Massachusetts; her brother James Ferris of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and her nephews Todd MacLean of Newton, Massachusetts and Garrett MacLean of Detroit, Michigan. A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Mary’s memory to Parkinson’s research or to Melanoma cancer research.