Mary (Ridge) Piso, 79, Davis Scholar, Educator

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FRAMINGHAM – Mary (Ridge) Piso, 79, of Framingham, died unexpectedly Saturday, May 15, 2021, following complications from a medical procedure. Her sons, Charles, John, and Michael, and her sister Barbara were able to be with her at the time.

Mary was born in London, England in December 1941, the first child of Mark and Nora Ridge.

Shortly after her birth, Mary was sent to Ireland by her parents to keep her safe from the bombing of London during World War II. She spent the first three years of her life living with her grandparents, aunts and uncle at their home in Connemara, Ireland.  

After the war, she returned to her parents in London where she lived with her sister Barbara and brother Patrick before sailing with her family to the United States aboard the Queen Elizabeth II in 1957, settling in Boston where she attended Saint Mary High School in Brookline, graduating in 1960.

As a young woman Mary worked as a bank secretary in Brookline where a fellow worker and lifelong friend introduced her to her husband, John. They were married in 1962 and moved to Framingham.

Shortly after their marriage, John established his own companies and Mary, having worked with her father in his business, worked in many key supportive roles, which allowed them to travel across the United States and throughout Europe and Japan.

Mary never forgot her first years in Ireland. She spent many summers with her father, a native Irish speaker, visiting their family homestead in Connemara. Through him, in his later years, she became active in the Cumann na Gaeilge, The Irish Language Society of Boston. She loved Irish history, music and culture, and passed this on to her family.

Being the mother of four boys, Mary opened her home to all her children’s friends, cultivating lifelong bonds of friendship. Often her children’s friends would drop in for visits even after her children had moved out or were away at college. She opened her home to her father in the final years of his life, and acted as primary caregiver to him.

Mary shared her love of literature with her children, their friends, and later her grandchildren.  She was a staunch advocate of literacy and the practice of reading both alone for one’s own benefit, and of reading aloud to others as a social practice.

A lover of fiction, from Umberto Eco and James Joyce to Danielle Steele, Mary was an active member of the Anthony Trollope Society – enlisting family and friends in reading his work. In addition, Mary remained active in her Wellesley alumni reading group to the end of her life.

Mary returned to school later in life and took classes at Boston College then was accepted as a Davis Scholar at Wellesley College. Her many interests included psychology, literature, comparative religion, and ancient history focusing on the history of the Roman Empire in particular. She flourished at Wellesley growing intellectually and spiritually and with her friend, Mary Gottman, brought the first labyrinth to the college.

During this time, Mary developed a love of working with young children and spent many years teaching in Montessori preschool education programs. She also taught after school CCD for several years at St. Bridget’s Parish where she also served as a Lector for many years.

Mary is survived by her children, Charles Piso of Pittsfield, Vermont, John Piso of Framingham, and Michael Piso and his partner Ashlie Taylor of Somerville; sister, Barbara Ridge of Needham and her family; brother Patrick Ridge of Sudbury and his family; brother-in-law, Anthony Piso and his wife Barbara of Stow, and grandchildren, Angela and Isabella Piso of Franklin, both daughters of son Charles.  She is preceded in death by her husband John, and their beloved son Mark.

Relatives and fiends are kindly invited to attend her funeral Mass on Friday, May 21, 2021 at noon at St. Bridget Church, Framingham.

Burial will follow in St. Tarcisius Cemetery.

Arrangements by Norton Funeral Home in Framingham.

editor

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