St. Patrick’s honors 17 friends ‘posthumously’

Daniel Smith
Photo courtesy of Brittany Smith

Marching in the 19th Annual Throggs Neck will be family members of posthumously honored residents.

The parade will pay tribute to 17 honorary grand marshals when it steps off at noon on Sunday, March 12 at East Tremont and Lafayette avenues.

The event is a celebration of both community and Irish pride. As the march makes it way along East Tremont Avenue, past a reviewing stand at Harding Avenue, families of the 17 will join grand marshal Derek Woods and honored religious Sr. Peggy Gannon, Sr. Joan Marie O’Leary and Sr. Betty McLaughlin of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, in celebrating and remembering their loved ones.

“These individuals represent all facets of our Bronx community and we are proud to honor them posthumously at the 19th Annual Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” read a statement from the parade committee.

Being remembered this year are several well-missed community members: Margaret Albin, Patrick Boyle, Veronica Christensen, Mary Fitzsimons, Teresa Fitzsimons, Eleanor Kelly, Arleen Knapp, Mary McEnery, Jack Mullane, Jack O’Connor, Kathy O’Sullivan, John Quinn, Sal Randazzo, Dennis Raftery, Jr., Daniel Smith, John Steel and Barbara Wynne.

Smith’s daughter Brittany Smith said that her father, who spent most of life on Clarence Avenue, always enjoyed attending the parade because he would see so many friends on one day.

If he could know about the honor, Smith would be proud and very touched, his daughter said.

“My dad was a very humble guy and knowing that so many people were coming out in honor of him would have been a surprise,” she said.

O’Connor, who volunteered as a coach with Throgs Neck Little League and who took part a campaign to build St. Benedict’s Church in his youth, would have been tremendously honored, said his daughter Mary Anne Aylward.

“He was a very humble person who would probably say he didn’t deserve it, but he would be extremely honored to know he was being thought of,” she said, adding he was very proud of his Irish heritage.

Family is coming north from Florida to march in the parade to remember Jack, she said.

Mary Theresa McEnery was born to Irish immigrant parents and moved to Silver Beach in 1931.

Her son John McEnrey said that she witnessed the growth of the community into what it is today.

She married in 1955 and raised her family in Silver Beach, befriending much of the Throggs Neck community, said her son.

He added in later years that she became a ‘go to’ person for many local people because of her extensive knowledge of Throggs Neck. She was extremely religious, said McEnrey.

Her husband John was an honorary grand marshal in the 2005 parade, her son said, and she knew many of the parade marshals.

Could she know she was being honored, she would probably have thanked God and have considered herself privileged, said her son.

“I think it would take days for the smile to come off her face,” said John McEnrey.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Mary Theresa McEnery
Photo courtesy of John McEnery

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