Showing posts with label legacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legacy. Show all posts

Monday, June 8, 2020

Faith Flaherty: Gone But Not Forgotten

"During the COVID-19 quarantine, I have been walking for exercise. It may seem strange, but my favorite places to walk are cemeteries. I find it interesting to walk through the cemeteries in Franklin. 

The Union St. cemetery has grave stones from the 1700s. There are some very recognizable names:
  • Oliver Dean, who founded Dean College
  • Fletcher family, there’s a softball field named after the family
  • Ray family, funded Franklin Library - the first library in the country
Then there’s the Beaver Street Cemetery. It is really called St. Mary’s Cemetery because the parishioners of St. Mary’s purchased the land in 1864 because Catholics weren’t allowed to be buried in the Union St. cemetery. But that was then and this is now. Now anyone can be buried in either the Union St. or Beaver St. cemetery. I found it interesting to notice the Irish and Italian names on the St. Mary’s grave stones in contrast to the English names on the Union St. cemetery tombstones.

Cemeteries hold the history of civilization. These two cemeteries reflect the mindset of our Puritan ancestors who left England for freedom to practice their own religion and then in turn didn’t practice what they preached. In St. Mary’s cemetery we see the oldest gravestones engraved with Irish surnames, reflecting the Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine in the mid-1800s. Soon overwhelming the Irish names are Italian names. Names that only Franklinites could pronounce:
  • Mucciarone
  • Bucchanio
  • D’Aniello
St. Mary’s cemetery has a beautiful memorial garden and a columbarium. A columbarium is a wall of vaults containing the cremated remains of the deceased. It is a peaceful area for respectful reflection. 

There’s one more cemetery that is perhaps the most interesting of all, albeit the smallest one. It is on Green St., Franklin. The official name is the City Mills Historical Cemetery. That area is part of the City Mills section of Norfolk/Franklin, hence the name. Some of the people buried there:
  • Samuel Allen 15 Mar 1778 Franklin, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA - 14 Jan 1866
  • Edward Gay Jr 2 Jul 1696 Wrentham, Suffolk, Province of Massachusetts Bay - 28 Feb 1758
  • Timothy Hawes 21 Jul 1722 Wrentham, Suffolk, Province of Massachusetts Bay - 8 Mar 1772
  • Rhoda (Mason) Allen abt 1795 Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA - 15 Apr 1862
  • James Shepardson 24 Jul 1789 Wrentham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States - 8 Mar 1863
There are other reasons to enjoy walking in these cemeteries besides historical interest. There’s the peace and quiet. The roads are paved so one can wholly concentrate on their reflections. The epitaphs on the gravestones are interesting and some are funny. (That will be a future story.) The architecture, material, and choice of design offer imaginative stories about people’s lives. It certainly makes you wonder what happened between birth date - death date. Just imagine! An entire life is represented by a dash! 

Soon many more graves and cremains will be added to our cemeteries, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A walk through the cemeteries will put your priorities in order. What will your legacy be?"

Faith Flaherty

Union St cemetary
Union St cemetery

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Leaving a Legacy of Kindness - Tri-County RVTHS Remembers Sophomore Student Zoe McMorran

They say a person's essence is not obvious to everyone, but there is one student at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School who was known for her positive energy, acts of kindness, caring and strength to all she encountered. That person was high school sophomore, Zoe McMorran. Zoe passed away on March 19, 2017 from a rare form of brain cancer. Many of the Tri-County community wish to reflect on Zoe's life and the impact she had on each of them.

Tri-County RVTHS Remembers Sophomore Student Zoe McMorran
Tri-County RVTHS Remembers Sophomore Student Zoe McMorran

Zoe began attending Tri-County in 2015 where she met her aid, Julie Caffrey. Julie fondly remembers how Zoe was always making her laugh. "The best times that we had were when it was just the two of us walking through the halls and talking about what happened during the day. Zoe was such a hard worker that I would have to tell her to take a break, since she would never tell me she needed one. We would walk down the hallways and she would say hi to everyone. This girl just wanted everybody to feel accepted. I will miss her presence in my life."

Zoe's love for children led her to enroll in the Early Education vocation as a freshman. During her time in Early Education, Zoe made an impact on all who knew her. Emily Doherty, a Tri-County sophomore in Early Education recalls, "I first met Zoe in freshman year in shop. I got along with her immediately. She walked in with a big smile on her face and looked like she was ready to take on the world. I remember a day that I had a lot of blocks everywhere to clean up. Even though she had a lot to clean up herself, Zoe dropped everything and came over to help me. It made me smile. I always think about it. She was just so caring of people. She was very selfless. She had so much love for the kids and love for all of us."

According to her Early Education teachers, Dina Taylor and Michelle Tilden, "Zoe was a ray of sunshine who had a passion that filled us up with joy. She was really happy and wanted to genuinely know how you were doing. She was such a good example of a pure good human being. She left a big impression on our lives to persevere through anything and keep on going. She also taught us to be kind to others because you never know what someone is going through."

Zoe enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program this past year to explore her love of cooking and baking. Anthony Tucker, a Culinary Arts sophomore student smiles while remembering, "I first met Zoe here in Culinary. She wanted to learn how to crack eggs. Zoe had some physical limitations, so I showed her how to do it properly with one hand. Every day she would tell jokes and would make us laugh. She was a good, positive person." Fellow classmate Abbey Pacheco from agrees, "I first met Zoe here at Tri-County. She approached me to say hi and we were instantly friends. She just loved cracking eggs. She was our designated egg cracker. Zoe definitely stood out because she reminded me of my mother, who passed away this past summer of cancer. My mother was always smiling and going and was never down. Zoe was the same way."

Nancy Haney, Zoe's teacher in Culinary first met Zoe as a freshman in Student Council. "She loved her snacks. She was always smiling, contributed to what we were doing, always had something to say, and always tried her hardest. I was thrilled when she came to Culinary because I loved her so much. The customers at Gerry's Place (Tri-County's own restaurant) loved her and gave her huge tips. She was so positive with them and they saw what she had to go through to wait on them and they appreciated her. Every day was special with Zoe. We had a thing where we told each other jokes every day. When she was in the hospital we'd text each other jokes. It was a special thing with us. She always made me laugh and smile. She worked so hard."

The friendships she made during her time at Tri-County were deeply meaningful to her. Fellow classmate and friend Shannon Zogalis recalls, "I met Zoe when we were in cheerleading together in North Attleboro and then again in high school. I remember when Zoe first got sick and Zoe was still singing and laughing to an ice cream truck song during cheerleading. Zoe was brave. When you talked to her she never acted like she was sick. She was just a normal kid. I would stay at the hospital with her and we'd do crafts and hang out all the time."

Adrianna Celese, a classmate and close friend of Zoe's describes her as, "One of the sweetest people you would ever meet. She never judged anyone on what's on the outside. She could see in your heart. We met in Middle School in 7th grade in North Attleboro. We became partners for a project and we were friends ever since."

Zoe's twin sister, Avery McMorran lovingly remembers her sister, "She was my best friend. She was really nice and always included everyone. If she saw someone sitting alone, she would go and include them and made everyone feel welcome."

Despite her untimely passing, Zoe's legacy at Tri-County will live on through her kindness, caring, courage and strength and the memories of those who knew and loved her.