Obituary of Jean O. Canty
Jean O. Canty, a mother of 7, grandmother of 10, great grandmother of 6, and fan of all Burlington High School athletes passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on Thursday morning, May 9, 2019. She was 91 years old. Jean was born in Medford. She was the daughter of Frederick and Isabelle Rice. She had a wonderful childhood growing up in Medford. Her summers were spent in Brewster where her grandfather was the only doctor for miles around. Both Jean and her sister Marilyn were gifted dancers. They took lessons starting at the age of 3 and competed together in tap, jazz, and acrobatics routines all over the Boston area well into their teens. Her love of dance never subsided during her lifetime. She and her husband, James, were always one of the first on and last off the dance floor. She also danced and performed at the Knights of Columbus Minstrel Shows. At the age of 50 plus, she amazed the audience when she did a split as part of her dance routine and brought the house down when she sang “Hello Dolly” mimicking Carol Channing’s voice. She entertained her family and friends at family gatherings as she played her piano and sang. She was so proud of her daughters and grandchildren sharing in her love of dance. She must have held the record for most dance recitals attended at Ellen’s School of Dance as granddaughters and great- granddaughters spent over 40 years taking classes, performing, and competing.
One cannot talk about Jean without talking about her love of sports. She was a cheerleader, volleyball, and softball player at Medford High School. She played in the Women’s Adult Softball League in Burlington with her girlfriends. She was a longtime Red Sox Fan. To the point of sleeping on the side walk in her younger years to buy playoff tickets. Her favorite sports team was the Burlington High School Red Devils. She was a regular at their football, baseball, softball, basketball, and hockey games and their cheerleading competitions. She always arrived early to get her 50 yard line or center court seats so that she could see every single moment of the games. She was a longtime member of the Burlington Booster Club as well. In 2007, Jean was inducted into the Burlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a Benefactor, which was an honor she was humbled by and thrilled with her induction.
After graduating from Medford High School, Jean earned a degree from Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in Boston. She had worked as an administrative assistant for attorneys Joseph Hurley and Richard Meaney, MacDonald Real Estate, RCA, and MA-COM. She really enjoyed being a part of RCA’s involvement in the Apollo Space Program.
Jean was a woman devoted to her family and friends. There was never a dull moment at the Canty home. There were 7 active girls coming and going, hosting their friends, and competing for bathroom space. She didn’t try to control the chaos, but rather embrace it. During the summer months, she was more of a life guard as her girls, neighbor’s, and friends spent endless hours in her backyard pool. There were countless family vacations to Cape Cod. Holidays were especially important. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and July 4th were Jean’s holidays. Everyone in her family knew her rule about holidays, “if you knew someone who was alone for the holiday, then bring them with you”. Some Christmases there could be over 40 people participating in her Yankee Swap. Jean’s kind and caring spirit, Burlington High spirit, and devotion to her family were just some of the reasons she was immensely loved and will be immensely missed.
Jean was the beloved wife of the late James J. Canty. She was the loving mother of Linda Clement of Burlington, LuAnne Canty of Burlington, Lisa Morande & her husband Frank of Billerica, Lori Surdam & her husband Steven of Billerica, Lynette Clement of Billerica, Lorraine Canty of Burlington, and Lizbeth Shea & her husband Shawn of Billerica. She was predeceased by her sister, Marilyn Duncan. She was the proud grandmother of Michele Henderson, Jodi Boucher, Erin Clement, James Clement, Jr., Richard Clement Jr. & his wife Kerri, Kelly Clement, Danielle Dolan & her husband Jack, Shawn Shea, Sheree Emmons & her husband Nick, and Shawna Morande. She was the great grandmother of Isabella Henderson, Kenadie, Cameron, & Shea Dolan, Conor Boucher, and Delaney Clement. Jean was also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends.
A visitation will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Sunday, May 12 from 5-8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Sullivan Funeral Home on Monday, May 13 at 11 a.m. Services will conclude with a burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Jean’s name may be made to the BHS Athletic Booster Club, P.O. Box 220, Burlington, MA 01803. For directions obituary & online guestbook see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050