PROVIDENCE — Mary (Dolan) Garvey, 93, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2023.
Garvey, who lived in the Smith Hill neighborhood all of her life, was born on May 3, 1930, to her Irish immigrant parents Peter J. and Annie M. (Barlow) Dolan.
The connection to her neighbors in the Providence College and St. Pius Parish community — barely a block away — formed strong bonds and wonderful friendships. Garvey has been a member of Saint Pius V Parish since 1939 and is a proud graduate of St. Pius V School.
In 1946, she married Francis E. Garvey, Jr., at St. Pius V; they were married for 48 years until Francis’ passing in 1994.
In her years as a parishioner, she headed the St. Pius School Alumni organization, spearheaded the parish Club Dominicana for more than 20 years, and was honored with the St. Pius V School Veritas Award in 2003 for her many years of service to the school. Garvey and her family also have deep ties to Providence College. She worked briefly in the Admissions Office and the Residence Life Office until 1978, when she became the administrative assistant in the theology department (formerly called the religious studies department). In 2017, Garvey was awarded the college’s Torchbearer Award for distinguished service to the college.
Her two brothers also graduated from PC and her father was one of the first security guards on campus after having been a Providence policeman for 26 years. Garvey’s daughter, Anne, is a PC graduate.
In her 39 years of service to the theology department, Garvey brought a wonderful spirit of service and hospitality to students and faculty alike and was loved by all.
Garvey was the loving mother of Anne B. Garvey Sabalewski and her late husband John; cherished grandmother of Shannon A. Barata, Robert W. Vanner III (Sarai), Kristy Vanner and Sean F. Sabalewski; she also leaves 20 nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late John F. Dolan, Esq., Hubert G. Dolan, Margaret A. Gillooly and Marie Renza; and the aunt of the late Kathleen Walsh; and great-aunt of the late William Conroy. Mary was also affectionately known as the “Grandmother of Tyndall Avenue.”
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, May 22, in St. Pius V Church, Providence, with burial in the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, Exeter. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to St. Pius V Church, 240 Eaton Street, Providence, R.I., 02908.
With reports from Laura Kilgus, Rhode Island Catholic