Landscapes 15

Theodora McCarthy-Gray, Esq.

November 8, 1966 ~ November 10, 2021 (age 55)

Obituary

On November 10th, 2021, in the comfort and peace of her own home and in the company of her devoted, loving husband, surrounded by the truest of family and friends who supported her during her fight with Ovarian cancer, our beautiful sister Theodora McCarthy-Gray, Esq. departed from this world for a far better place to be with her dad, the late Irwin Gray, and her aunt the late Nydia Lewis and her treasured Grandmother the late Haroline Bellot (Mama). 

Born in Trinidad, Theo came to the United States when she was seven. She was a fiercely proud of being an American, but never forgot her Trini roots as was well known by her choice of great Caribbean food, music, and its lively colorful culture.  

Education was always of prime importance to Theo, and she embraced the challenges of scholastic academics despite being dyslexic. A graduate from Boston Latin High School, Theo furthered her education with multiple degrees from Dartmouth College, Suffolk Law and Brown University. Her scholastic achievements served as a true testament to her tenacity and deep held belief of never, ever quitting.  A prolific mentor and “helping hand” to many, she had a special affinity to help aspiring young men and women who were interested in gaining a career in cyber security law and spent many Pro Bono hours helping the future generation of young lawyers and professionals even when feeling tired and ill.  She loved seeing others succeed and found tremendous joy in paying it forward.

She was an avid traveler with an unquenchable passion for all things related to ancient civilizations. A classics scholar in college, which led her to travel to more countries and artifact ruin sites than most of us could ever hope to even read about. While she loved many different countries, Ireland and its people always held a special place in Theo’s heart.  She loved spending time there visiting her sister-in law, Maura and her husband, Simon, the McCarthy brothers Donal & Joan, and Denis, the Murphy’s, Mary and John, and Owen & his friend Samantha in Kent, UK. She was so incredibly fond of her “Blarney Roses”, Jackie, Mary, Karen, Dee, Eileen and the late Patsy Downey who surrounded her with their love and care when she visited there. Her brother-in-law, Joe and his wife, Collen of Haverhill, MA were also instrumental in her care and support, as were Jerry and Joan Cooney in Inniscarra, Cork.

Her passion for travel was highly contagious and her ability to convince others they needed to stop immediately what they were doing and go off with her to see faraway places was a testament to another of her super skill set – Sales. Theo could sell anything. She was well known and respected both nationally and internationally for her knowledge of single malt whiskies and other high-end liquors, although she was not one who imbibed much at all which made her sales abilities in this field all the more impressive! 

Theo was a warm wonderful and caring mother to many. She loved her nephews and nieces, and passionately loved her grandchildren, although the past few years living in the shadow of COVID-19 and with her own Cancer made traveling out of state to visit them almost impossible. She had a deep and committed love and affection for her three stepchildren, Valerie, Aidan, and Conor, with whom she spent many afternoons this past Summer hunting down the very best New England lobster rolls.

Theo genuinely lived true to her life mantra of spreading positivity wherever she went, no matter what.  She always took everything in stride and stayed positive despite what the medical report said. Proof being on Christmas Day of 2019, the day of one of her major surgeries, she arrived at the hospital dressed up in a reindeer outfit to spread good cheer to everyone she met along the way. Aptly nicknamed “Happy Shiny Dora” (she answered to both Theo and Dora), she rarely left a roomful of people without leaving a strong, positive uplifting impression on everyone. She always said there was enough mean-spirited people in the world, and she did not need to join their ranks.

She also loved her very large LinkedIn family, who eagerly looked forward each Friday and her new BMF post. She had a special way of weaving in the message from the music and its history with what was going on in her life and the world in an uplifting positive way.  Each post was meaningful, and she routinely concluded each one by tagging the LinkedIn folks that had something to celebrate and had uplifted her spirits. It was her way of highlighting those special individuals who made LinkedIn a special platform and community that she derived positive energy from.

During the past few years in her fight against her disease she was supported by several unrivaled medical teams, staff and unsung heroes at The Dana Faber Cancer Research Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The care and genuine heartfelt support shown to her always left her feeling humbled.  She was always in awe of people who are called to work in the medical profession and felt so incredibly inadequate by just saying “thank you” while being cared for by people whom she regarded as genuinely 21st century true heroes.

While the list of these heroes is long, she asked for a special mention of thanks to some of the members of her oncology team Dr. Liu, MPH, Dr. Veneris, PhD, Anne Stewart NP, and Dr. Kalish, Rheumatology specialist.

A sincere thank you to the staff of hospice Care Dimensions, (and in particular nurse Karl H.) who helped Theo transition pain free and with dignity in the comfort of her own home. Joyce of United Healthcare was also a wonderful source of comfort and support to her during their weekly call-in chats. A special thanks also to the staff and the owners Richard and Lou at Kfoury Keefe funeral home in West Roxbury for taking great care of Theo’s earthly remains and honoring her specific funeral wishes. 

Other notable mentions of people who were there to support, love and care for her during her cancer ordeal was her dearest Aunts Juliette, Wilma and Bebe, her uncle Eustace and cousins Geraldine and Robin and her nephew Victor and niece Erica, her dear, dear friends Yul & Lisa, Ming & Adalena, Raluca & Razvan, JessicaY ..just to name a few.

She also drew core strength to greet everyday with grace and dignity from her nearest and dearest sister-girlfriends Nadine, Carmel, Jean, Cynthia, Ale, Tamara, Marcy, Bally, Shelly and Iyona, and many countless others who carried her spirits on days when she just needed to be lifted a little.

Theo was also very appreciative of the support of her husband’s employer V&S Taunton Galvanizing, LLC, who graciously allowed him supreme flexibility to modify his work schedule to care and attend to her whenever needed.

A lifelong resident of Jamaica Plain, she loved walking her home turf and took special delight in living in a very special building 100+ years old which also is home to several of her dear neighbors and close friends over the years. Diana and Scott, Joe and Anna, Amy, Ashley, Anglia and Deborah and the many others who lived in the complex who were so incredibly kind to her during her struggle with Cancer by supplying us with pans of food, pots of teas, but more importantly, their treasured time and company. Thank you so very much all for your warmth & kindness.  If I have forgotten to mention someone by name, please forgive the omission, it’s not by intent.

In strict keeping with her wishes, Theo’s earthly remains were cremated and will be returned to the Earth at a later date (privately) as per her specific instructions. However, a very lively and joyous day of celebration of her indelible spirit and a retelling of her well lived, inspirational life is actively in the works, and will take place in Spring of 2022, her favorite season. Notice will be given in the New Year as to its location and time. Music, Great Caribbean food and a joyous prayer service blended with personal stories and pictures will be shared by all whose lives she touched in her unique special way, embraced her love of life and all it has to offer and who truly loved and cared about her. 

Theo loved life. She cherished her friends and the family members who lived in tandem with her belief that being of service to others and truly caring about the less fortunate in life was not something to be done when it was seasonal or easy, but always. She advocated and cheered for those who struggled with life’s hurdles, and sometimes just needed that little extra push to get there. She led by the power of example and her humility gave pause for us all to not think less of ourselves, but perhaps think about ourselves less often.

In lieu of flowers, and per Theo’s request, please donate whatever you can afford to The Dana Faber Cancer Research Institute, The American Red Cross, SmileTrain or the Salvation Army, or any charity of your choice in her memory. As Theo always liked to say, the reward itself is in the giving.

Lastly, one of Theo’s favorite poems was this beautiful and poignant poem by William Butler Yeats. I hope you will find it equally as special and endearing.

You may be out of our sight for a little while Theo, but you are never very far from our minds and hearts.

Thank you for showing us all how to truly live.  I, and countless others will Love you for all of eternity.

Miss you boo-boo. Eamonn. xxx

 

 

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

 

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

 

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

 

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Theodora McCarthy-Gray, Esq., please visit our floral store.


Services

Private Services

Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home
8 Spring Street
West Roxbury, MA 02132

Donations

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Ave., Boston MA 02215
Web: http://danafarbergiving.org

Salvation Army
10 Melville Ave, Dorchester MA 02124
Web: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org

American Red Cross
101 Station Landing Suite 510, Medford MA 02155
Tel: 1-800-435-7669
Web: http://www.redcross.org

Smile Train
P.O. Box 96231, Wasintonton DC 20090
Web: http://www.smiletrain.org

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