Mary Peffley, mother of Fr. Francis Peffley, dies at 95

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Mary M. Peffley, the mother of Father Francis J. Peffley, parochial vicar of St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Fairfax, died April 13 in Norristown, Pa. She was 95.  

A memorial service will be offered at St. Mary of Sorrows, 5222 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax, May 15 at 7 p.m. 

She was born Aug. 26, 1922, to William T. and Ethel F. Phelps in Benton Harbor, Mich.

She worked as an editor for Catholic Boy Magazine at Notre Dame University and then, for one year, was the personal secretary for Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. 

She was an active member of the Legion of Mary from 1940 until her death. In 1954, she was sent by Frank Duff, the founder of the Legion of Mary, to start a chapter in Philadelphia. She was the founder and first president of the council that would become the Philadelphia Senatus, governing the Legion in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. 

Mary met her husband, Bill, in the Legion. As a legionary, she volunteered at the Norristown State Hospital for 58 years. In total, Mary served in the organization for 78 years and attended her final meeting just three days before her death. 

Along with her husband, Mary was the owner of The Catholic Shop in Norristown, which opened in 1958 when they married and closed in 2017 following Bill's death. 

Mary is survived by her three children: Edel Lukens and her husband Steve; Father Peffley; and Natia Meehan and her husband Greg. Mary was the beloved "Ma Parker" to her seven grandchildren: Clare, Chris, Johnny, Sarah, Megan, Erin and Grace Meehan.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered April 21 in Norristown.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018