Mary Brett McCarthy, 30-year member of the Boston Police Department, dies after a long illness

UPDATED 04.29.2018

HINGHAM — Mary Brett McCarthy, of Quincy, a longtime civilian member of the Boston Police Department, died on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Pat Roche Hospice Home in Hingham, after a long period of declining health, fighting her illness with unbelievable strength and dignity.

She leaves her husband, Robert T. McCarthy, children Maryellen McCarthy of Quincy, Sean and Michael McCarthy, both of Dorchester, and her beautiful granddaughter, Bridget Lenehan.

Mary also leaves her sister, Margaret “Peg” McCobb and her late husband William of Weymouth; three brothers, Harry Brett and his wife, Lucille, of Braintree, Bill Brett and his wife, Ginnie, of Hingham, and Jim Brett and his wife, Pattie, of Dorchester; and, her brother-in-law Francis McCarthy of Rhode Island.

Mary’s oldest brother, John P. “Jack” Brett, died in September 2010. Among her many family members, friends, and members of the Boston Police Department, she also was the cousin of the late Bishop John P. Boles and Mary O’Connor.

Born Mary Bridget Brett the daughter of the late Henry Brett and Mary Ann (Brennan) Brett of Dorchester, Mary was the officially retired from the Boston Police Department on Friday. She worked for 30 years out of Area C in Dorchester, where she grew up, attending what was then call St. Margaret’s Church.

Many current and former members of Mary’s extended family of loving policemen and women came to visit her in the weeks leading up to her death. Mary worked at Area C, District 11 police station in Dorchester and it was said of her that “no one loved or respect the police more than Mary and she was dearly loved in return. She was truly a mother to them all.” She saw a number of her patrol officers that she took under her wing go on to leadership positions and Mary took particular interest in the young female officers who were assigned to the District 11 station.

Some of the stories that her former co-workers shared included her many kindnesses to the members of the police department and the community. Several people mentioned Mary’s nut rolls that she would bake for birthdays, retirements, and other special occasions. (Several people have inquired about getting a copy of her special recipe, which we do not have. Alas.)

Mary was an avid bowler and champion softball player in her youth and many of the comments on Bill Brett’s post about his sister’s passing include reminisces about bowling or softball with Mary with a few from those she coached. She also enjoyed her semi-annual trips to Foxwoods and a trip in March with her siblings.

Most painful is the knowledge that she will not be coming home. Her comforting presence and hospitality we took for granted,” Mary’s family wrote in the death notice. “That loss will slowly heal, but the pain will linger. It is embedded in our memory.”

Family and friends will honor and remember Mary’s life by gathering for visiting hours at the James A. Murphy & Son Funeral Home, 1020 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, on Tuesday, May 1, from 4-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said in St. Margaret Church of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish on Wednesday morning, May 2, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary’s memory would be greatly appreciated and may be made to the Mary Ann Brett Food Pantry, at St. Margaret Church, 800 Columbia Rd., Dorchester, MA 02125. Mary attended the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast fundraiser to support the food pantry that bears her mother’s name.

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