Mary Jane Colgan-Dugan
June 16, 1931-June 29, 2022
Mary Jane Dugan – beloved mother, grandmother and friend to all – entered her eternal rest on Wednesday afternoon surrounded by her loving children.
An Elizabeth resident from birth, Mary Jane’s life changed when she went on a blind date and met the love of her life, Daniel J. Dugan. They wed on Sept. 12, 1953. Their marriage, built on true love and respect, spanned 43 years. Together, they raised their six children in the happy home they shared on Rahway Avenue. They took great pride in their Irish-American heritage and their devout Catholic faith. Both were active in their local parish community, St. Mary of the Assumption. A loyal St. Mary’s alumna and member of the Hilltopper Club, Mary Jane was deeply, constantly devoted to Our Blessed Mother.
Alongside her role as wife and mother, Mary Jane wore many hats in her time, and she wore them exceptionally well. In 1978 she went to work for the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth (HACE) where she worked full time for 35 years – first as clerk, then purchasing agent, and eventually administrative assistant and record secretary to the board of directors. Deeply proud of her work, she continued part time after retiring in 2004; in 2013 she was honored for her invaluable, lifelong contributions to HACE. She also was a dauntless volunteer in her parish’s Altar Rosary Society as well as the Center for Hope Hospice, where she peacefully lived out her last days.
Those who knew Mary Jane, whether for 50 years or five minutes, knew she embodied God’s love in this world in an unmistakable way. Her genuine acts of love and service, her ability to comprehend the feelings of others, her devout faith, and her kind, gentle and cheerful spirit drew people to her from all walks of life and helped her make and keep friendships wherever she went. Whenever called upon to help, Mary Jane always said yes. Never one to ask for anything, she willingly gave everything, and she touched more lives in her 91 years than can be counted. In her golden years, she lived with her eldest daughter in Linden and spent many summers by-the-sea at her vacation home in Lavallette.
Mary Jane was pre-deceased by her husband, her parents, Helen Haggerty-Colgan and William Colgan, her dear brothers William and Richard, and her adored cousin John Haggerty. She is survived by her devoted children and children-in-law: Patricia (John) LaPlaca, Maureen (David) Handerhan, Daniel (Kathleen) Dugan, William (Carol) Dugan, Kevin (Sofia) Dugan, Eileen (Scott) Macnab, as well as her precious 17 grandchildren, and her littlest darlings, her 23 great-grandchildren and counting.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, July 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home in Westfield. On Thursday, July 7, loved ones will gather at the funeral home at 8:30 a.m., then proceed to the funeral Mass to be held at 10 a.m. at St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, please offer contributions in Mary Jane’s memory to St. Mary of the Assumption RC Church at 155 Washington Ave., Elizabeth.