Mary C. Farley

Date of Passing:

August 15, 2017

Farley, Mary C., (Sylvia), 94, formerly of Willett Avenue, Riverside, died peacefully on August 15. She was the beloved wife of the late John E. Farley Jr., MD. Born in Providence, she was the daughter of Joseph Sylvia and Marion C. (Coakley) Sylvia. A proud graduate of Tyler School, she later graduated from St. Xavier’s Academy in Providence.  She and her husband “Jack” married in 1949 and settled in Riverside in 1953.

An avid reader with a particular liking for mystery novels, she was possessed of a quick and razor-sharp wit, which she deployed well into old age to lovingly skewer any friends and family within earshot. When holding forth she drew on a seemingly bottomless well of obscure and colorful sayings. Because she thought it was bad form to pay a visit to a friend without a gift in hand, for example, she advised against showing up “with one arm as long as the other”; a person being selfish out of spite was “a dog in the manger”; bringing less to a bargain than others were expected to contribute was summarized as “here’s a button; put a shirt on it.”

Among her favorite pastimes was to watch for hours as cardinals, goldfinches, and chickadees flocked to the many birdfeeders and suet racks she kept fully stocked throughout each winter.

She was a staunch supporter of local theatre, especially of Trinity Repertory Company, which she attended from its earliest days in an Elmwood Avenue church in Providence. She loved traveling with her husband throughout Europe and the Caribbean.  She loved Rhode Island and the rest of Southern New England, especially Cape Cod, where she and Jack spent their honeymoon.  They also spent many memorable vacations with her children, grandchildren, and friends and relatives on Siesta Key, Florida.

She is survived by three sons: John, and his wife, Deborah; Michael, and his wife, Christina; and Peter, and his wife, Kerry; five granddaughters; and 3 great-grandchildren. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her son Paul and by her brother, Edward J. Sylvia, of Cranston.

Her funeral will be held on Friday, August 18, 2017, from the W. RAYMOND WATSON FUNERAL HOME, 350 Willett Ave., Riverside, at 8:45 a.m., with a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Brendan Church, Turner Ave., Riverside, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 550 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence. Calling hours are Thursday, August 17, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Flowers are respectfully omitted. Memorial donations may be made to Hope Hospice & Palliative Care, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904 (

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  1. John, Michael, Peter and families:
    So sorry to read of your mom’s passing. She and your dad are together again. She was a lovely lady. Peace and comfort to you all.
    Cathy (McConnell) LaSalle

  2. Aunt Mary – May you rest in peace and know that like me, you loved your baby brother , as I love mine, and he loved you too. Thoughts and prayers to my Farley cousins.

  3. It is fitting that her passing today August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, commemorating the end of her earthly life and assumption into heaven.
    May she rest in peace.

    With much love, Mary Beth and Kevin

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