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14 Honorary Grand Marshals Selected for 2012 Bronx St. Patrick’s Parade

Bronx Times

When the 2012 Bronx St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off on E. Tremont and Lafayette avenues, 14 community members will be posthumously honored.

The parade committee has selected a group of 14 Irish-American community members will be honored along with grand marshals Regina Gallagher Marengo and Justice Douglas McKeon, and honored clergy Sister Bridget O’Sullivan. The families of the honorary grand marshals will be marching in the parade when it steps off at noon on Sunday, March 11. The parade route will run to Harding Avenue, where there will be the reviewing stand, and will then turn right on Harding Avenue where it will proceed several more blocks.

The honorary grand marshals are Joanie Callan, Mike DeStefano, Nancy Egan Doherty, Margaret Donnelly, Vincent Flynn, Mary Frano, Bernadette Hiney, Marion Keegan, John Keeney, Margaret “Peggy” Law, George Lock, Patrick “Beau” Lynch, Michael O’Connell, and Bridget Wallace.

Joanie Callan was the mother of three children: Laura, Kevin, and Anthony, and would often attend the parade along with her family, said brother-in-law Jimmy Corbett. She passed away from pancreatic cancer after being diagnosed in August 2010.

“Joanie was the type of person who didn’t like a lot of attention, and she would have been very humbled by this honor,” Corbett said. “She was someone who was always taking care of someone else.”

According to a biography released by the Throggs Neck Benevolent Association’s parade committee, Joanie married her high school sweetheart, Kevin Callan, in 1986, and worked for both a major daily newspaper in New York and Preston High School. Her family wishes to thank the parade committee and the Throggs Neck Benevolent Association for bestowing this honor.

For honorary grand marshal Nancy Egan Doherty, who passed away recently after turning 102-years-old, being remembered during the parade would have been especially poignant because she was an Irish immigrant, said son John Doherty. She was born in 1909 in County Clare, Ireland and arrived in New York in 1928.

“Her Irish heritage meant everything to her,” John Doherty said. “Everything reverted back to Ireland.”

Nancy Doherty became an employee of Governor Nelson Rockefeller at his home in Pocantico Hills in Tarrytown, New York as a part-time cook after raising six children, the family stated. When Rockefeller became vice-president of the United States, Doherty continued to work as a cook for the Vice-President’s brother, Lawrence Rockefeller.

Honorary grand marshal Marion Keegan often watched the parade with a group of her neighbors from Silver Beach at Harding and E. Tremont avenues, said her sister Patricia Keegan. The parade meant a lot to her because her father was born in Ireland, and much of her family still lived there, Patricia Keegan said.

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