December 10 2014

Long Time Burlington High Coach Mary McGinn Passed at Age 75

By: Rich Hosford

A long-time Burlington coach who had a big impact on many young athletes in town passed away last week.


Mary McGinn passed on Wednesday, December 3rd at the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, after a long struggle with heart disease. She was 75 years old. 


According to her obituary, Mary was an athlete, a coach and a loving family woman. She was born in Burlington in a family homestead near the Town Common. She was a member of the 1957 Burlington High School Class. 


During her time at Burlington High, Mary was a dedicated athlete. She played basketball for four years on the varsity team. She also played softball, but since the school did not offer a softball program she played on a club team. She even played several varsity baseball games on the boys team. 


After high school Mary played for the elite softball team Raybestos Brakettes. She traveled around the country and the world with the team, playing in far-flung locations like India, Japan, Germany, Holland, Canada, Australia. The team also played in the Pan Am Games and won the gold medal. 


After she stopped playing for the team Mary turned her eye towards coaching as a way to share her passion of athletics with young female athletes, including her daughters. She was a member of the Burlington Softball Association and was a long-time coach at BHS. She coached field hockey for 13 years, soccer for five years, basketball for nine years, and softball, her chosen sport, for over 25 years. 


"She shared her love of sports, cared deeply for her players, and set high standards and expectations," her obituary reads. 


Mary was inducted into the Burlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Her entry on the Hall of Fame's web site reads: 


"Mary Bennett McGinn, Class of 1957, earned 4 Varsity Letters in Basketball during her high school career. She was captain her senior year and was a member of the winning team at the Ashby Softball Tournament in 1956 and 1957. Mary was voted MVP of the Tournament both years. Burlington High School having no Varsity Softball team asked Mary to play in two Baseball games. Mary’s athletic career did not stop upon graduation. She played for Ray Bestos Brakettes. She was also a member of the First International Softball Tournament in Australia. Mary has continued to have a presence at Burlington High School coaching Field Hockey for 13 years, Freshman Girls Soccer for 5 years, Softball for 19 years and Girls Basketball for 9 years."


The full obituary from Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home is as follows: 


Mary McGinn, an athlete, coach and family person passed away after a long struggle with heart disease on Wednesday morning, December 3, 2014 at the Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She was 75 years old.


Mary was a lifelong resident and a very proud Burlington native. She was born in the family homestead in Burlington which was located near the Burlington Common. She was a 1957 graduate of Burlington High School where she left her mark as an athlete and later as a coach. As an athlete she was a 4 year Varsity Athlete in Basketball. She also was an incredible softball player, which was not a sport offered during her high school years. So she played for a club team. She was so good, that she even played several High School Varsity Baseball games with the boys. After high School she played for an Elite softball team called Raybestos Brakettes, which traveled all over the United States and the World. She played in India, Japan, Germany, Holland, Canada, Australia and even the Pan Am Games where her team won the Gold Medal. She played second base and catcher and was a force to be reckoned with. When her playing career ended, Mary wanted to share her passion for sports with her daughters and the female athletes of Burlington. She was an active member of the Burlington Softball Association and was a long time coach at Burlington High School. She coached field hockey for 13 years, soccer 5 years, basketball 9 years, and softball for over 25 years. She shared her love of sports, cared deeply for her players, and set high standards and expectations. In 2004, she was the assistant coach for the women’s semi pro softball team, the New England Riptide, which was coached by Mary’s former coach and Olympic Softball coach, Ralph Raymond. Mary was inducted into the Burlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the New England Woman in Sports Hall of fame.


Mary's life also revolved around her family. She was the loving wife to her husband Paul for 49 years. She was a mother, fan, and coach to her 3 daughters. Mary enjoyed her weekly bingo games with her daughter Teresa. She also enjoyed an occasional trip to Foxwoods. Mary had a very close relationship with her aunts, siblings, niece, nephews and cousins and they were always spending time together whether it was sharing a meal or a family holiday. She enjoyed traveling and had many adventures. Her husband, daughters and her grandchildren were the joy of her life. When you saw Mary she was never alone as she was always with one of her daughters and her grandchildren. They did everything together as a family whether it was a trip to truck day on the Burlington Town Common, an outing at the beach, apple picking or a special event for her grandchildren such as First Holy Communion.


Mary was the beloved wife of Paul McGinn. She was the loving mother of Mary Ellen Kilfoyle & her husband Kenneth, Allyson Bullock & her husband Randy, and Teresa McGinn all of Burlington. Sister of John Bennett & his wife Cheryl of FL, Walter Bennett & his wife Dottie of Burlington, Alice Rodrigues of Burlington & her late husband Roger, Joshua Bennett & his late wife Lucy and the late William Neilsen. Proud grandmother of Kenny, Paul, & Matthew Kilfoyle, and Joshua, Lindsay, & Bennett Bullock. Niece of Eleanor Lloyd and June Ryan both of Burlington, the late Irene Curtis, Alice Duncan, and Frances Hayward. Special cousin to the late Joan Lloyd. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends. Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Tuesday, December 9 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Visiting hours Monday from 4-8 p.m. Memorials in Mary’s name may be made to the Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation, 23 Center St., Burlington, MA 01803.



In story photo courtesy Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home. 

Banner photo courtesy of Burlington High School Athletics Hall of Fame. 

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