Mary Jane Mullaney of Westfield was called home to God on January 21, 2021, after a twenty-year struggle with Alzheimer's. While her passing is sad to her many family members, they take joy in knowing that she is once again with those she loved who preceded her in death. They include her husband Tom, daughter Tara, granddaughter Kayla Rippe, her parents Michael and Alice Trainer, her brother Robert Trainer, and her brother-in-law Jack Gilfillan.
Mary Jane was born December 4, 1930 and was raised in Woodbridge NJ. She graduated from Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, NJ and St Elizabeth College in Morristown NJ. After receiving her master's degree in education, Mary Jane taught elementary school for several years prior to having children.
Just a few weeks after giving birth to her sixth child, Mary Jane and Tom moved to Westfield and quickly settled in. She was a member of the Westfield Service League and took genuine pleasure in her involvement with the organization. Mary Jane and Tom were members of Echo Lake Country Club where Mary Jane enjoyed playing platform tennis in the winter and spending summers at the pool with her children. She was a loving and involved mother to her children as a homeroom mother for many, many years, field trip chaperone, girl scout leader, CCD teacher at Holy Trinity Church, and she was the mother who never said no to the very large slumber parties her five daughters continually threw. Mary Jane was also an enthusiastic supporter of her children's many and varied athletic teams â swimming, diving, softball, tennis, field hockey, soccer, cheerleading, football, and lacrosse. She excelled at slicing oranges for her children's teams and driving from one event to another with children in tow so she could be at a child's game. Somehow, she always made time to do a special activity with each child and focused on that child's interests. The one-on-one time with their mother was a time her children all fondly recall.
Mary Jane was a woman of deep faith and strove to live a life of compassion and caring for others. Holy Trinity Church was her spiritual home, and she was a devoted member. Sunday mass was never to be skipped and she was insistent that her children dress appropriately for church. She and Tom were always appreciative of the guidance, solace and comfort the clergy of Holy Trinity provided.
Mary Jane had many loving friends whom she enjoyed entertaining in her home, throwing wonderful dinner parties. She and Tom particularly loved traveling with friends to various destinations around the globe. Mary Jane and Tom spent a part of each winter at their beloved home at Round Hill, Montego Bay, Jamaica, with a revolving door of friends and family visiting.
The Mullaney family will be eternally grateful to their mother's caretaker of 15 years Guerline Jean-Pierre who showered Mary Jane with love and affection. She allowed Mary Jane to travel through these years of Alzheimer's with dignity and grace. Guerline tenderly took care of her, always making sure her hair done, her clothes just so, her earrings clipped in, and her lipstick applied.
Mary Jane is survived by her children Maura Mullaney, Robert Mullaney (Pam Gannon), Sheila Rippe (Paul Rippe), Tricia Mullaney (Paul Hagar) and Alicia Mullaney (Dave Hock) and by her grandchildren Ashley, Kyle and Chris Boylan; Tierney, Michael and Francesco Bonini; Rob, Tom and Will Mullaney; Mary Walker Rippe; Ronan and Maddie Hagar; and great-grandchildren Lucio Bonini and Tristan Davie. She is also survived by her sister Betty Ann Gilfillan of Morristown and Betty Ann's five sons.
A graveside service will take place on Thursday, January 28th at 1:00 p.m. at Fairlawn Cemetery in Westfield. A memorial service will be held in the future when Covid-19 is no longer a concern.