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Shirley Marguerite (Mara) Stadalnick, 91, passed away on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Born in Brockton, on August 20, 1930, she was the daughter of Daniel Joseph Mara and Mary Anna (Buckley) Mara. Her Great Depression era upbring not only had her eating endless amounts of ‘cornmeal mush’ and wearing dresses made from repurposed curtains, but also taught her the importance of family and caring for others. Shirley was raised in Stoughton, where she graduated from Stoughton High School with the Class of 1948. Following graduation, Shirley worked as a switchboard operator at the New England Telephone Company, where she worked her way up to the title of chief operator over a 24-year career. She was proud to say that she made the same salary as a man. During this time, she enjoyed extended road trips with her father and her beloved nieces and nephews to Niagara Falls and throughout New England. Shirley also led a glamourous lifestyle with her many friends, and they took frequent vacations to tropical islands, Las Vegas, and other big cities across the country. Her favorite stories included watching Tony Bennett be booed off the stage in Las Vegas and vacationing in Haiti during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
At the dawn of Shirley’s fourth decade, fate had a new plan when a group of friends convinced her to go out for a night of dancing at the Norwood Elks. On the way to the event, they jokingly made her promise not to marry anyone she met that night. Ultimately, she could not keep that promise after a dance with “the nicest man I ever met.” Shortly afterwards, she married her beloved husband, John, on January 9, 1971. The newlyweds soon relocated to John’s hometown of Norwood and started a family. After welcoming their first child, John Joseph, Shirley left her career with the telephone company and took on the role of a homemaker, raising and caring for her son and her daughter Mary. Shirley also volunteered in the community by leading Mary’s Camp Fire troop, being active in the PTA, and joining St. George’s Lithuanian Parish’s sodality. Shirley loved taking daytrips with the family to the ocean, and they also took frequent vacations to Cape Cod and other New England destinations.
In more recent years, Shirley has enjoyed the company of her grown children, son-in-law Sean, extended family, and many friends. Her favorite activities included early-bird specials, scenic car rides, and trips to Maine and Vermont. Shirley began to experience some health problems in her mid-80s, but once she found out she would become a Nana, she was determined to get into the best shape possible to meet her granddaughter. Shirley was overjoyed to be Magnolia’s Nana, and the feeling was quite mutual. The two of them were blessed to be able to spend lots of fun time together at playgrounds and restaurants, and they even had the opportunity to enjoy a few vacations together. Shirley brought to her family and friends a love of life that will live in their hearts forever.
Beloved wife of the late John B. Stadalnick.
Loving mother of John J. Stadalnick of Norwood and Mary H. Hafferty and her husband, Sean, of Medford.
Cherished grandmother of Magnolia R. Hafferty.
Sister of Heberta Lyons of Stoughton, the late Joseph Mara, the late James Mara, and the late Marie Hargreaves.
Also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Shirley's Life Celebration on Thursday, April 7, 2022, from 4 to 7 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.
All are invited to gather in the funeral home on Friday, April 8, 2022, at 9:30 AM, prior to Shirley's Mass of Christian Burial that will be celebrated in Saint Timothy's Church, 650 Nichols Street, Norwood at 10:30 AM. Interment will follow in Highland Cemetery in Norwood.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Shirley's name may be made to the Greater Boston Food Bank at www.gbfb.org or mailed to 70 South Bay Avenue, Boston 02118.
Thursday, April 7, 2022
4:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home
Friday, April 8, 2022
Starts at 10:30am (Eastern time)
Saint Timothy's Church
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