Obituary of Mary T. Conlin
Mary T. Conlin was born in Amsterdam New York on June 27, 1944. She was the eldest child of Virginia (Burgette) Conlin and John J. Conlin. She shepherded her 5 younger siblings growing up in Levittown and Seaford. Mary attended St. William the Abbot School and Queen of the Rosary Academy. A graduate of St. Joseph's College in Brentwood, New York with a degree in Education, she later earned a master’s degree in theology from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York.
Mary's work life began as a reference librarian at the Nassau Library System while she was earning her undergraduate degree. Her love of children drew her to education. She taught religious education at Maria Regina Parish in Seaford for several years before becoming a faculty member of Saints Cyril and Methodius School in Deer Park, New York.
In 1982, Mary joined the faculty of Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset, New York. There she taught Theology to the all female student body for nearly 40 years. Her final year at the Academy included mastering the technological challenges of remote teaching via internet. Despite all the challenges of changing curricula and teaching advancements, Mary's guiding principle was consistent: her genuine concern for the well being, spiritual and moral development of each of her students. She was always available to them during school hours and beyond. Mary created and taught her own study skills course to students needing assistance, moderated after school activities, including Right to Life and Ecology clubs, and chaperoned many dances, proms, class trips and attended multiple impromptu reunions with graduates. Many of her teacher/student relationships grew into lifelong friendships. She was always delighted to meet the children of former students and taught many daughters of former students during her tenure at OLMA, which ended in June of 2020.
Mary's family was her home base. She and her siblings cared for their parents, enabling them to age in place at home. Always the first one to show up and lend a hand whenever any of her family needed assistance, she reveled in family gatherings. Her large extended family included Aunts and Uncles along with many, many cousins. She regularly spent time with her nieces and nephew and their children. She was predeceased by her sister Patricia (Conlin) Demme, her brother John, brother-in-law James Pickel and her nephew Damien Pickel. She is survived by her sisters Judith Pickel, Ann Conlin and Elizabeth Conlin (Chris Long), nieces Christina Ficarelli (Buddy) and Liza Conlin, as well as her grandnephew and grandnieces Madisen Pickel, Samantha Ficarelli, James Ficarelli, Alaena Pickel and Madelyn Ficarelli.
While her career was a large part of Mary's life, and her family and friends the source of her strength, her foundation was her unwavering faith and advocacy for social justice. She was an active supporter locally of Momma's House, as well as globally through The Kind Fund. Both were representative of her continuing her efforts to support women and girls in reaching their full potential. In lieu of flowers, you may wish to continue Mary's support through the links below.