Lois MacNamara, 89, passed away September 18, 2020 surrounded by her four loving children. An active member of her church, St. Genevieve's, for more than 50 years she was president of the Leisure Club, was part of the team that started the vegetable garden at the convent, volunteered to count collections, attended bible study, ran clothing drives, attended church picnics and many other functions. She began her teaching career at St. Genevieve's and worked there for 10 years before moving into the Elizabeth public school system where she continued to teach for another 30 years, mostly at Woodrow Wilson School. She, herself, was a lifelong learner and though she did not follow a "traditional" educational path, she was able to earn a Master's Degree plus 30 credits all while raising four children and teaching full-time. (This is the time-period her children refer to as the "Spam Dinner" years.) She also earned a certification in ESL and spent several years teaching English to foreign-born students in the evenings. She held a drug and substance abuse certification and was in charge of the D.A.R.E. program for several years at her school.
Lois was born to Amadeo and Adele Coverty in Bristol, Connecticut but she was known to everyone in Bristol as "Dimples." She was raised in a very close and loving Italian family and her best friends in the world were her sister Theresa "Doll" Chase and her brother James "Sonny" Coverty. Many uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews, completed the extended family and she remained close with them throughout her life.
In 1952 she moved to NYC and attended two years of junior college before taking a job with Eastern Airlines. She met her future husband, Tom, on a blind date. They loved going to jazz clubs in Harlem and seeing Frank Sinatra in Manhattan. They were married in 1957. After a honeymoon that included Ireland, France and Italy, Lois and Tom set up housekeeping in Elizabeth, NJ where their first two children, Tom and Kevin, were born. After a short time back in Connecticut, they moved to Granada Hills, California, where Erin and Deirdre were born. A yearning to be closer to home brought Lois and family back to Elizabeth in 1966, where she remained for the rest of her life.
Lois had a love of life and never found a club she wouldn't join. She was a proud member of the "Leadbottoms," the faculty basketball team at St. Gen's, and was the faculty advisor for the cheerleaders and Girls Team. When her boys went to Roselle Catholic she joined the Mothers Club there. After they graduated she started the Alumni Mothers Club. She looked forward with great anticipation to their annual retreat to Esopus. She volunteered with animal rescue organizations, as well. If she wasn't at a meeting or organizing one, then she was at a party or planning one. If there wasn't a meeting, or a party or a class to attend, then she was at home watching a cowboy movie snuggled up with a dog or cat in her lap.
Lois' life was always about her family and giving. She was never happier than when she was surrounded by her family. And she could always find a few more dollars to send to a new charity or to sneak into a grandchild's pocket. She was always happy to offer a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend. It was never an imposition to her; she loved to help.
Lois' life was so full and rich, and she touched so many people we couldn't begin to mention all the different aspects of it here. But her legacy will live on in her children, her family, her many friends, the hundreds of students who were taught by "Mrs. Mac" and all of the work she has done throughout her life to make the world a better place. She will be dearly missed.
Viewing will take place from 1 - 4 p.m.and 6 - 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 24th at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, NJ. The funeral mass will be held at St. Genevieve's Church, 200 Monmouth Road, Elizabeth, NJ at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 25th.
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