Mary Virginia Harney


Mary Virginia Harney of Oak Bluffs died peacefully at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on January 4th. She was 88.

She was born April 7, 1924, in Cambridge, the daughter of Patrick and Mary Faherty Tangney. Preceded in death by brothers, Robert Tangney and Joseph Tangney.

After moving to Derry, N. H., as a child, Mary attended Derry schools including her much-loved Pinkerton Academy. During WWII, she welded submarines for the U.S. Navy as a civilian worker at the Boston Naval Shipyard. She was later employed at the New England Life Insurance Company and New England Telephone Company where she was a member of the Pioneers and a labor activist who organized her workplace and later served as a steward with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

In the 1960s she fell in love with Martha’s Vineyard and eventually settled full-time in Oak Bluffs. There she spent much of her time gardening but most enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren, always taking pride in their accomplishments. Her wonderful sense of humor and love will be missed by all who knew her.

She was the wife of the late John J. Harney Jr. with whom she had four children, Mary (Charles) Osgood of Wilmington, Anne (Harvey Cantor) Harney of Wellesley, John (Laurie Collins) Harney of Kensington, Md., and Paul (Joanne) Harney of East Falmouth. In addition to her children, she is survived by grandchildren Charles and Sean Osgood of Wilmington, Craig Osgood of Burlington, Vt., Andrew Cantor of Miami, Fla., Lizzie Cantor of Brooklyn, N.Y., Ana and Colin Harney of Kensington, Md., and Jennifer and Jack Harney of East Falmouth.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, PO Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.