2017-08-05 / People

Mary Plunkett


Mary Plunkett Mary Plunkett A gathering for friends at Community Hall to celebrate the life of Mary Dennany Plunkett will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, August 11, and she will also be remembered at the 5:30 p.m. mass at Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church Saturday, August 12.

Mrs. Plunkett passed away February 15, 2017, at her Chicago home from heart problems.

She was born in 1933 at Kalamazoo to James and Loretta Murray Dennany.

She spent every summer of her youth on Mackinac and, for four years, attended the Island’s Thomas Ferry School, where her mother taught. She was Lilac Queen in 1950 and was an avid horse rider. She worked for a time at the Gilded Cage on the Island.

According to her daughter, Suzanne, she liked to tell her children of the time she, Jeanne Vance, Bill Chambers, and James McGreevy crossed the ice bridge to Round Island to explore the lighthouse. They were stranded until well after dark when the ice cracked, separating them from Mackinac. A public scolding awaited their return. The quartet also enjoyed sneaking out of school to climb the hill behind it, from where they would shine mirror reflections into the classrooms below.

Mrs. Plunkett was the granddaughter of David W. Murray, who served as Mackinac County Probate Judge for 40 years and was also a Mackinac Island assessor and mayor, and the great-granddaughter of Dominic Murray, a Mackinac County sheriff for 17 years.

She received her undergraduate degree from University of Michigan and a master’s degree in reading education from Southern Methodist University and enjoyed a long career as a teacher, much of it in a first-grade classroom, retiring in 2001.

Mary Plunkett was known for her warm sense of humor, her sincere interest in others, especially young people, and her curiosity and zest for life. At age 81, she went parasailing over the Straits and fulfilled a desire for skydiving. She owned at least 200 books about Mackinac and Straits history, which she kept in a special bookcase.

She and Richard Plunkett were married in 1956 and they reared six children, who survive. They are Kathleen Plunkett of Dallas, Suzanne Plunkett of Chicago, Jenifer Colombo of Dallas, John Plunkett of Dallas, Meghan Plunkett of Albuquerque, and James Plunkett and his wife, Pamela, of Portland.

She is also survived by her sister, Anne Kanapilly of Albuquerque, and her brother, John Dennany of Gaylord, and five grandchildren, Mary Clare Colombo, Patrick Colombo, Bernadette Colombo, Josephine Colombo, and Loretta Plunkett.

The family suggests memorial contributions in Mary Plunkett’s name can be made to Mackinac Island Recreational Development, Mackinac Island Community Foundation, Mackinac Associates, or Mackinac Island Medical Center.

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