After her youngest son started school, Mary returned to college, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Jersey City State College in 1987. Mary was active in Jersey City politics throughout her life, and many important political meetings were held in her home starting in the early 1970s. Paul Jordan, Artie Cashin, Jerry McCann, Marilyn Roman and Tom DeGise are some of the many local candidates she has supported over the years. She attended the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City as a delegate for Jimmy Carter’s successful presidential campaign.
Mary was widowed in 2004 and spent her remaining years enjoying the company of her many family and friends. She could frequently be found dining at The Merchant across from City Hall. The many visits from her children and grandchildren were a constant source of enjoyment, but never before 1 p.m. Mary now joins her departed loved ones in Heaven, especially her husband John J. ‘Jack’ Finn, her sister and brother in law Barbara Jean and Thomas Gallagher, Jr., her parents Terence J. and Anne T. McNally, her father and mother in law John J., Sr. and Margaret M. Finn, her brother in law Richard Zadroga, and her nephew Dan Finn.
As the end of her life neared, Mary greatly anticipated finally getting to meet her Uncle Billy, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II when Mary was only two years old. Mary is survived by her five sons and their spouses John III and Mary Grace, David E., Sr. and Marybeth, James and Judy, Thomas, Sr. and Patti, and Robert Emmet and David Gomez; and by her 13 grandchildren Steven, Christopher, David E., Jr., Sean, Conor, Christina, Emily, Thomas, Jr., Mark, Julia, Carmen, Kathryn and Jack.
Mary is also survived by her sister Barbara’s four children and their families: Mary’s god daughter Mary Ellen Morelli, Ann Fulton, Thomas Gallagher III and Terence Gallagher, and by her cousin and lifelong friend, Jeanne Andreu. In addition, she is survived by her late husband’s nine siblings and their spouses: Peg and Paul Ehrhardt, Bill and Jean Finn, Mary Ernst, Ellen Zadroga, Catherine and Mike Zadroga, David P., Sr. and Ginny Finn, Edward, Sr. and Mary Finn, Teresa and Jim Curran, and Pat and Una Finn, and by her 24 Curran, Ehrhardt, Ernst, Finn and Zadroga nephews and nieces and their families.
Also devoted to Mary were her very special friend of over 40 years, Lois Shaw, her neighbor and friend Brady Poulsen, her former boss and friend L. Harvey Smith, her City Hall colleague and friend Lenora Brown and her fellow St. Aloysius Academy alumna and friend Pat Magrine Mead, as well as many other relatives and friends.
Mary’s sons wish to thank her many caregivers, especially her home health aides Kira and Mahogany, for their patience and kindness during the period of Mary’s convalescence. Her sons also wish to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital, especially John Chabot M.D. of the Pancreas Center for his compassionate treatment and genuine concern for Mary’s well being. Lastly, her sons wish to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of the Oncology and Hematology Specialists, P.A. especially Stephen Schreibman, M.D. who was just as eager and willing to fight to the end as Mary was. Services arranged by the McLaughlin Funeral Home, Jersey City.