Marie Theresa Dugan (nee Cunningham) died peacefully on August 12, 2021, in Chesterfield, VA, at the age of 93. Wife of the late Martin J. Dugan. Mother of Kathleen Gehring (Barry, deceased) of Hurffville, NJ; Martin Dugan (Cynthia) of Belmont, MA; Joseph Dugan (Sharon) of Southampton, PA; Karen Walters (Douglas) of Southern Shores, NC., Sister of William Cunningham (Bernice) of Chester Springs, PA; Thomas Cunningham (Marie); Anne Wellein (Joseph, deceased) both of Philadelphia and the late Sister M. Catherine Cunningham IHM. Grandmother of 12 and great grandmother of six. Also survived by the compassionate caregivers at Lucy Corr in Chesterfield, VA, who loved and attended to her in the final years of her life.
Born fittingly on Valentine’s Day 1928, to the late John and Mary (née Walsh) Cunningham. Marie resided in Philadelphia and was a member of St. Anne’s Parish in Port Richmond, educated at St. Anne’s and later John C. Hallahan High School for Girls. She and Marty married in 1959 and moved to Oak Valley, NJ, where they raised their children, becoming founding parishioners at St. Margaret’s in Woodbury Heights and active members of the Oak Valley community. Marie attended every ball game and teacher conference, volunteered in the school library, at the parish carnival, and welcomed friends and family into a meticulous home filled with love and homemade birthday cakes.
Marie’s love for children shaped and defined her life. In later years she became Nan not only to her own grandchildren but to their friends and all who met and came to know her. She was endlessly patient with little ones, from crying infants to angsty teenagers. She will be remembered as a baby-whisperer, a cheerleader, a storyteller, and a steady source of amusement (often without trying). She was quick to laugh, especially at herself. A Catholic woman of great faith and eternal gratitude for God’s blessings, she prayed the Rosary daily for the intention of others. The words of the Hail Mary were some of her last. Even as her own memories faded, her warmth and perpetually cheerful personality continued to attract new friends and inspire us to count our blessings.
A celebration of her life will be held at a future time. For those who choose to, the family respectfully suggests donations to Camilla Hall, the healthcare center of the IHM Sisters in Immaculata, PA (https://camillahall.org).
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IHM Sisters in Immaculata, PA
- Website: https://camillahall.org