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Mary Ellen Kissane joined her beloved Johnny in eternal rest on May 15, 2023.
She was born February 6, 1928, in Hartford, CT to Mary Ann Higgins and Thomas Heneghan. Joining her four older brothers, she was proud to have grown up in the clos... Read More
Mary Ellen Kissane joined her beloved Johnny in eternal rest on May 15, 2023.
She was born February 6, 1928, in Hartford, CT to Mary Ann Higgins and Thomas Heneghan. Joining her four older brothers, she was proud to have grown up in the close-knit neighborhood of Florence and Green Streets. She graduated at the top of her class from St. Patrick’s Grammar School, moving on to Holy Trinity Middle School and then Hartford High School. She was best of friends with Rita Kissane and Betty Breen, both her future sisters-in law. On the night of her Senior Reception, she met the love of her life, Johnny Kissane, two weeks after he returned home from the war, and their love story began. They were married February 17, 1950.
Together they raised six children, first on Hillside Avenue and then on Linnmoore Street. Johnny and Mary Ellen worked hard together. John established his own real estate company and Mary Ellen beside feeding, cleaning, and caring for six children, always had an outside job. She loved to keep busy! For many years she was the Hartford Times Newspaper “Mom” to many paper boys in the neighborhood. Later she worked for the City of Hartford as a cashier at Bulkeley High School until retiring at the age of 84. She was even mugged at 83 years old on the job (you know who you are, and she did too!). Her favorite job was working every weekend at Valles, Hilltop and The Chowder Pot as a hostess. She sat thousands of people, many of whom she appeased while they would wait over 2 hours to be seated. The busier, the better!
Mary Ellen and Johnny’s home was always the center of entertainment for every occasion. She made every holiday special. She was famous for her delicious cheese and tomato macaroni. Her St. Patrick’s Day Irish bread was incredible. Her Grote & Weigel grilled hot dogs were the highlight of summer picnics, always followed by Friendly’s ice cream.
She was always up for a “quick” game of setback, which frequently lasted past midnight. She was a fierce competitor, and you were lucky to have her as a partner. Later in life, she loved playing “cards” at the Senior Centers and even during Covid learned to play on Zoom with grandchildren around the world.
She was a fierce and loyal fan of Geno and his Lady Huskies and of course “her” Boston Red Sox! If at all possible, she would never miss a Jeopardy show. She usually knew all the answers!
She loved to read, travel, garden, and a Manhattan cocktail was always a treat. She was also extremely proud of her Irish heritage. She lived life to the fullest and would never refuse any type of candy!
She was known for her youthful petite figure, twinkling blue eyes and her amazing smile. She was the life of the party with a grand sense of humor. You were lucky to have her as a friend, and her children were blessed to have her as a mother. She was the best wife, mom, grandma, green grandma, Oma, aunt, and friend anyone could have. She loved to visit and hear about whatever was going on in your life. You knew you were loved when you were in her presence.
Over the years Mary Ellen overcame many medical challenges, including a major heart attack at the age of 57 requiring open heart surgery. She never let her health hold her back except on those rainy days with her “heavy eyes.” She certainly was both a fighter and a positive thinker. She was the last standing of her generation in the family. She was a wonderful matriarch.
Mary Ellen leaves behind her daughter; Sheila and her husband Charley Collins of Portsmouth, RI; sons, Brian Kissane of Collinsville, CT, John and Beverly Kissane of Chino Valley, AZ, Kevin Kissane and Felicita Cruz of Canton, CT and Mesquite, NV, Michael Kissane of Newington, CT and Patrick and Traci Kissane of Berlin. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren, Michael, Corey, Conor and Katie Collins, James, Kelly, Logan, Bailey and Harper Kissane and her great-grandchild Alice Collins. She was thankful for her niece Jody Smyser, who was her private duty nurse, friend, and confidant for many years. She loved her neighbors Gisela and Gerhart Meyers and Donnie and Lisa Spencer who were always there for her. All the family is grateful to her son Michael, whom she lived with for many years in Newington. She will be greatly missed by numerous friends, nieces, and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband John of 41 years, her parents, brothers, extended family, and grandson Kyle.
Mary Ellen loved and was loved. She left this world a better place and will always live in the hearts of those who knew her.
Mary Ellen’s Funeral Mass and burial will be private by her request. Donations in her name may be sent to the Williams Syndrome Association, 243 Broadway #9188, Newark, NJ 07104 or The Jordan Porco Foundation, 415 Silas Deane Hwy, Suite 304B Wethersfield, CT 06109. Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com
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