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Miriam Anne (Russell-McDonald) Foley

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Of Revere. Passed away on January 2, 2024, surrounded by her family and friends and the absolutely, wonderful caregivers at Brightview Senior Living in Danvers. Born in Bergenfield, NJ to Anne and Francis Russell she was the youngest of eight children. As a young girl Miriam’s family moved to Weehawken, NJ in 1942, just across the river from New York City. Miriam joined the Carmelite Sisters in 1946 as a young woman and remained a nun until 1963 earning her nursing degree and working at St. Patrick’s Manor in the Bronx, New York City. Upon leaving the order and travelling to Boston, she worked at Beth Israel hospital, and it was there she met, fell in love and married Kenneth McDonald with whom she raised 5 children and settled in the Beachmont section of Revere, MA.
Miriam loved bringing her children to Short Beach just down the street, finding and supporting every stray cat that found its way to their Pearl Ave. home. She worked at Winthrop Hospital for twenty years and found a community of nurses who became lifelong friends. Later Miriam would find sobriety and discover a calling more powerful than any she’d known, helping people she respected and for whom she cared deeply. Miriam later married Robert Foley in 1993 and spent many happy years visiting the arcades that reminded them of their youth.
Miriam was pre-deceased by her husband Ken McDonald in 2003 and her husband Bob Foley in 2015, and her beloved son, Martin E. McDonald in 2009. She leaves behind her children; Kenneth J. McDonald, of Lynn, MA, Mary D. Hill (McDonald) and her husband Kevin of Danvers, MA, Richard F. McDonald and his wife Dori of Brentwood, NH, Ann Marie (McDonald) Giambertone and her husband Vin of Duxbury, MA. She will be missed by her seven grandchildren; Kenny McDonald, Andrew Hill, Owen Hill, Aiden Hill, Ronan McDonald, Sofia Giambertone, Tessa Giambertone, who along with her late grandson Brent McDonald all enjoyed her sharp memory and stories of life in the convent and fundraising in her full habit across New York City in the 1940s and 1950s. Miriam’s brothers and sisters all pre—deceased her, and we’re sure she was euphoric to see them all again on January 2nd.
The family would like to sincerely thank the nurses, the aids, and the restaurant staff of Brightview, whose living definition of “care” made her final years a joy. We would also like to thank her friends Charlene and RoseMary who visited her so frequently and reminded her of so many good times.
Family and friends are invited to attend Visting Hours in the Vertuccio Smith & Vazza, Beechwood Home for Funerals, 262 Beach Street, Revere on Monday January 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass in the Immaculate Conception Church, 133 Beach St., Revere at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MSPCA Angell by visiting https://www.mspca.org/donate-now/.

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