Obituary: Mary O’Reilly


Mary O’Reilly

Mary Elizabeth Dalton O’Reilly, a resident of Riverside for 47 years, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 18, 2019, after a courageous eight and a half year battle with Multiple System Atrophy.

Mary Beth was born on Feb. 21, 1943 in New Rochelle, N.Y. to the late Charles F. Dalton and Mildred O’Neill Dalton. She was raised in Larchmont, N.Y. and educated at Saint Augustine School and Ursuline School. She earned her B.A. in English at Marymount College and her Master’s Degree in Art History at Manhattanville College.
In addition to being a devoted wife, mother, and homemaker, Mary Beth was passionate about Art History and spent many hours studying this discipline. For nearly two decades, she gave in-depth tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and held leadership roles in the Met’s Volunteer Organization. She was a long time, active member of St. Catherine of Siena Church and a board member of Abilis, a Greenwich organization helping people with special needs. Also an avid reader across a variety of genres, she was an enthusiastic member of a vibrant local women’s book group for over 45 years. Mary Beth was blessed with many longstanding friendships, which she cherished.

Mary Beth had a fun loving spirit and marvelous sense of humor. She was a lovely, loving, and much-loved woman and a paragon of kindness, humility, dignity, and grace. She handled her lengthy illness with remarkable poise and composure, as she did with everything in her life.

Mary Beth is survived by her husband of 50 years, Knowlton (Kayo) O’Reilly. She also leaves her daughters, Laura O’Reilly of Manhattan and Amy O’Reilly Rizzi and her husband, Jay, of Darien as well as her three grandchildren, Emily, Alex, and Connor Rizzi. She was predeceased by her eldest daughter, Katie, whose care she unselfishly managed with determination, patience, and love for nearly 30 years. Mary Beth is also survived by her sister, Barbara Dalton, and her niece, Elizabeth Dalton of Greenwich, and her brother, Charles F. Dalton Jr. and his wife, Johanna, of Auburn, N.Y., as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers- and sisters-in-law, and friends.

There will be no calling hours. The burial service will be private. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 4 Riverside Ave., Riverside on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 12 p.m. with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Abilis, 50 Glenville Street, Greenwich, CT 06831 or St. Catherine of Siena Church.

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