By John Moriarty, Irish America Reader
February / March 2012
Photo Album: Family Pictures
Mary O’Connell and her six siblings were born in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, Ireland. They were orphaned at an early age. Under the guardianship of their aunt Mary Hartnett Smith and uncle Rev. John Hartnett, pastor of St. Cecilia’s Church, they immigrated to San Francisco during the early 1920s. The young family finished their education at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing and San Francisco State Normal College.
Mary was to start a teaching career when she met Daniel Moriarty at a Knights of the Red Branch dance. He had recently emigrated from Killarney, Co. Kerry with his widowed mother and sisters. He was employed by the San Francisco Police Department, ultimately retiring as a police lieutenant. Mary and Dan married in 1919. Our mother gave birth to nine children, losing son Mickey, age 2 1/2 in 1935 to a childhood disease.
Our parents were devoted to the church, which was an important part of their lives. Education was equally important, and an excellent education was received by all under the auspices of the Sisters of the Holy Name, the Jesuits and the Madams of the Sacred Heart [those in the top tier of the Roman Catholic Womens Teaching Order].
We were blessed with wonderful parents. May they rest in peace.
– Submitted by John Moriarty on behalf of the Moriarty children.
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