Mary Hopkins celebrated her 90th birthday on Sun., Oct. 15, at the McKeon Post in Dorchester accompanied by more than 150 friends and family who turned out for the event, which included traditional Irish accordion music played by her nephews Paudie and Joe Walsh, Irish ballads sung by Mairin Keady, and the Brady Irish Step Dancers. There was also a DJ – Neponset’s own Gerard Timmons, who got the crowd dancing during the afternoon to both Irish and American hits.
Mrs. Hopkins was born in the Co. Galway village of RosMuc, the second oldest of seven siblings. She first visited America in 1948, then settled in Dorchester in 1956 after traveling back in forth to Ireland on various passenger ships while her two brothers, Thomas and Paddy, served in US Army.
Eventually, the rest of the family – Kitty Maze, Nora Calahne, Michael, and their father and mother, Sean and Helen (Hynes) Lee, all came over to Dorchester to live in St. Matthew’s parish. Sean and Helen and son Michael later returned to RosMuc, to which Mary often returned to care for them. Her father lived to be 101 years old.
Mary married the late Thomas Hopkins from Camus, Co. Galway, and lived in St. Matthew’s until they bought a home in St. Gregory’s parish next to Walsh Park.
They raised three children, Mary Ellen Hopkins- Coulter, Elizabeth, and Thomas. Mary has two loving grandchildren, Nora and Brigid ,and 61 nieces and nephews.
Never forgetting the difficulties immigrants faced when arriving in the US, Mary opened her home to many arriving Irish until they could get themselves situated in Boston.
A devout Catholic, she served as a eucharistic minister at St. Gregory’s for 25 years. She is known for her quick wit and sharp mind and was totally taken by surprise when she arrived at the McKeon Post that day. Fr. Daily from St Gregory’s started the party off with some humor and prayers.
A wonderful buffet dinner of roasted turkey and all the fixings was provided by Columbus Catering. The party consisted of Mary’s many friends and family from her native Ireland, St. Gregory’s Parish, and residents of the Keystone.
Story text supplied by a family member.