Anne Boyle Obituary

Anne Hennessy Boyle
Anne Hennessy Boyle

February 16, 1925 - March 21, 2019
Born in Cork City, Ireland
Resided in Chicago, Illinois
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Anne Boyle was born as Anne Hennessy in Cork City, Ireland, on February 16, 1925. At first her family lived near the River Lee which courses through the city, as her father was an engineer who worked for the City government. Later, the family moved to the Sunday’s Well neighborhood atop a high hill. In their Sunday’s Well house, Anne and her siblings spent many afternoons in a third floor room that had a panoramic view of the city. They were supposed to be doing their homework up there but Anne reported that it was quite a distraction to look down the hill at all the athletic action at University College Cork instead.

Anne mastered Gaelic in school, as she studied in both English and Gaelic. She eventually earned her Fainne pin, signifying Gaelic fluency, which in those days required passing a rigorous examination. She also earned scholastic honors in Geography and French.

She attended boarding school in Dublin for the equivalent of American high school during World War II. Although Ireland was a neutral country, it possessed harbors that would have been of enormous value to the Allies. Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom and was therefore at war. It had important war related industry, especially in Belfast, that was a regular target for Luftwaffe raids.

During the war, out of concern for errant bombers or perhaps intentional errors, the Irish government issued Anne and her schoolmates fitted gas masks, and they slept with these devices at the foot of their beds during the war years. Dublin was actually bombed on a few occasions by the Luftwaffe during 1941, sending her and the other students scurrying to the designated shelter. Whether the raids resulted from navigation errors or were warnings to the Republic to keep its ports neutral has never been determined.

After the war, Anne studied at St. Catherine’s College, Sion Hill, Dublin, and earned her teaching credentials. As a student, she and thousands of other students spent weeks in the summers living in the Gaelic speaking part of the country, polishing their conversational Gaelic. Being a true daughter of Cork, she elected to spend her time in the beautiful Gaelic speaking area of West Cork. There, she honed her language skill but also enjoyed the distractions available to college students and other young people tossed together for weeks at a time in an idyllic environment.

One person she met in West Cork was a young man serving in the Irish police service, the Garda Siochana. That young man, Kevin Boyle, originally from Donegal, had also studied Gaelic in school and college and had become fluent, albeit, as Anne would later note, with a “northern” accent. His Gaelic fluency earned him the police assignment to scenic West Cork, filled in the summers with many young people his own age. All in all, a pretty good deal indeed.

Anne and Kevin began dating. Their relationship continued through their time in Ireland and ultimately to the United States.

Following graduation from college, Anne took a position teaching at the School of Commerce in Cork City, and her relationship with Kevin Boyle became a commuter relationship for a while. After a bit of that sort of inconvenience, they decided to try their hand at moving to the United States and making a more permanent commitment to one another. Kevin moved first and Anne soon followed.
She arrived in New York via Pan Am Clipper, flight 071, aisle seat 20B, on May 15, 1954, then moved right on to Detroit, where she met up as planned with Kevin Boyle. They set about getting established in their new city. It was an exciting time. Detroit was a busy metropolis on the move.
By November 15, 1954, Anne had obtained approval to teach in the Detroit Public School system, where she worked as a roving substitute for a while. She learned the city by having to figure out bus and streetcar routes to the various schools where she was assigned to teach. She particularly liked the time she spent teaching at Cass Technical High School.

She and Kevin married January 4, 1955. At first, they lived on the West Side in the University District on Santa Rosa Avenue. They soon moved to the East Side, where Kevin became the manager of a branch of Peoples Federal Savings & Loan Association. Anne eventually accepted a position teaching eighth grade at Queen of Peace School. They remained committed East Siders and Grosse Pointers thereafter.

Anne had two sons, Brian Hugh and Kevin Gerard. During the ensuing years, Anne mainly used her Gaelic fluency to prevent her sons from understanding certain conversations between Kevin and herself.

She retired from active teaching and turned her attention to managing her household and volunteering. Over the years, she served in the library at St. Clare of Montefalco School and delivered Meals on Wheels. She enjoyed an active social life with many close friends. She also remained in close contact with her friends from school and college, regularly corresponding with them and reading the news from the Sion Hill Past Students Union.

She kept up her interest in needlework and sewing and meticulously managed her family’s finances. She took great pride in maintaining bound financial journals of all her family’s financial activities in her meticulous cursive penmanship dating from the 1950’s until she was no longer able to do so.

Anne enjoyed reading the Cork Echo newspaper’s annual “Holly Bough,” a thick compendium of both Cork history and trivia loved by generations of Corkonians. She relished the annual Christmas package from her Cork sisters, delivering otherwise unobtainable Jacob’s biscuits. Upon later moving to Chicago, she was delighted to learn that Jacob’s biscuits and Barry’s Tea were actually available in the grocery stores there. What a great city!

A resident of Grosse Pointe Park for many years, she and Kevin retired to a smaller house in Grosse Pointe Woods. She became a parishioner of Star of the Sea parish. Following her husband Kevin’s death in 2012, she lived alone and continued valiantly to drive, at least locally.

In 2014, she suffered a stroke and moved to Smith Village, a retirement village and assisted living facility in Chicago, near her two sons. At Smith Village, she participated in various activities, including cooking and fitness. She was beloved by the staff and other residents. She died peacefully March 21, 2019, having just turned 94 years old the previous month.

As she requested, her visitation will take place at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack Avenue, Grosse Pointe Woods, Friday March 29 from three until eight p.m. She will lie in state at Star of the Sea church, 467 Fairford Road, Grosse Pointe Woods, at 9:30 a.m. the following morning, Saturday, March 30. Her funeral Mass will begin at 10:00 a.m. sharp and she will be laid to rest beside her husband of 57 years at Mount Olivet cemetery in Detroit. On the East Side, of course.




Gathering of Family & Friends
A. H. Peters Funeral Home Grosse Pointe Woods
20705 Mack Avenue
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI US 48236
Friday, March 29, 2019
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Mass of the Resurrection
Our Lady Star of the Sea
467 Fairford
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI USA 48236
Saturday, March 30, 2019
10:00 AM
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