Obituary of Mary Ellen Tisdale
Mary Ellen (Mahoney) Tisdale, a woman filled with kindness and devotion to her family and friends passed on Saturday, May 20, 2023. She was 84 years old. Mary Ellen was born in Cambridge. She was the oldest of four daughters born to Daniel and Alice Mahoney. She grew up in Somerville and Arlington and was a graduate of St. John’s High School in Cambridge. She met her future husband, Robert “Bob” Tisdale. They married in 1962 and purchased a home in Burlington in 1964. Mary Ellen and Bob made a great team. Both had a genuine concern for others and wanted to bring joy into other’s lives. Bob was the spontaneous and adventurous one, while Mary Ellen was supportive and accommodating (wherever his ideas might take them).
Mary Ellen supported Bob as started his own company, Cambridge Medical Supply, while also focusing on helping others. They believed that success should be shared, and gratitude always expressed. Together, they embraced life which included a progression of vacation homes each filled with wonderful memories: Saco River Campground, Westward Shores on Lake Ossipee, and Lands End on Lake Winnipesaukee, a condo in Salisbury, and finally a second home in Naples, Florida. They loved boating and snowmobiling. Bob was always the driver and Mary Ellen, the navigator. In 1994, they teamed up with their friends to open TJ’s Ice Cream Shop in Burlington. Mary Ellen worked the counter, made ice cream and cakes, managed staff, and kept things in order. They successfully recreated the soda fountain of their childhood days and shared it with another generation. They loved to travel with family and friends. They had an RV for day and weekend trips. They went on numerous cruises and trips to Tahiti, Europe, Alaska, Caribbean, and many more destinations.
Mary Ellen’s life revolved around her family. She was a loving and caring mother. She talked to her daughters multiple times a day, was always available to lend a helping hand or give some welcome advice. She was so proud of Tina and Patty for their accomplishments and for becoming great mothers themselves. Her proudest and happiest role was that of being a grandmother. She believed the most important responsibility was to simply love her five granddaughters, which Mary Ellen did in abundance. She had sleepovers, tea parties, and tried to attend every school and sporting event. She was a constant presence in their lives. When they visited her in Florida, no matter their age, a nightly gift was tucked under their pillow. It might be something simple, cute, or silly, but it was a token to say how much she appreciated their visit. These vacations always ended with a tearful farewell.
Mary Ellen’s bond with her sisters, “The Mahoney Girls” was truly something special. They and their families remained close their entire lives. Plus, when they were all together there were always colorful stories, merriment, and laughter. Mary Ellen’s extended family was loved with the same enthusiasm. She and Bob hosted epic summer cook outs around their pool. Their annual family Christmas party grew so big that it had to move from their home to a church hall, and finally the Marriott’s ballroom to accommodate the crowd.
Mary Ellen a large circle of friends. There were childhood friendships, Burlington neighbors, vacation friends, the Village at Stone Ridge friends, and many others. They were all Mary Ellen’s extended families. She loved any gathering whether it was sharing a cup of tea, going on walks, attending book club, or enjoying her bowling league. Mary Ellen’s welcoming personality, warmth, sincerity, and kindness made everyone around her feel loved, appreciated, and like a lifelong friend.
Mary Ellen was the beloved wife of the late Robert P. Tisdale. She was the proud mother and mother-in-law of Christine McKenna & her husband Kevin, and Patricia Kingston & her husband Wayne all of Westford. She was the fun and caring “Nana” to Emily Kingston & her fiancée Brendan Enwright, Samantha Kingston, Allison, Katie, and Meaghan McKenna, and her beloved grand puppy, Calvin. She was the sister of Patricia Coveno of Woburn, formerly of Burlington, Jean Cullen of Arlington, and Kathy Hirsch of Arlington. She was also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington on Thursday, May 25 from 4-7pm.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Catherine’s Church in Blessed Trinity Parish, 107 N. Main Street in Westford, on Friday, May 26, at 9:30am www.blessedtrinitycatholic.org. KINDLY GATHER AT THE CHURCH.
Burial will be at Pine Grove Cemetery, Westford.
Mary Ellen’s family appreciates the wonderful care given to her by all the doctors, nurses, and staff of Care Dimensions Hospice. Memorials, in Mary Ellen’s name, can be made to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923, or using the link: Care Dimensions on-line donations
For online guestbook and video tribute see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050