Mary McCaffrey, 84, teacher, secretary

July 11, 2004

Mary deChantel McCaffrey, a teacher and secretary who served with the Red Cross during World War II and helped to raise money for a home for Carmelite nuns, died July 3 of pneumonia at her home in San Diego. She was 84.

Born Mary McGreevy in Baltimore, she was a graduate of the Institute of Notre Dame and American University. She worked as a secretary for theHolland America shipping line before joining the Red Cross during World War II, when she was commissioned a lieutenant in the Navy and worked with amputees at the naval hospital in Philadelphia, said her son, Mark McCaffrey of San Diego.

In 1950, she married an Army combat officer, Robert W. McCaffrey of Baltimore, and the couple had three sons before his death in 1965. She helped to found the Carmelite Guild in 1957 for a monastery for the nuns of Baltimore, succeeding after five years of work that saw some impressive donations, Mr. McCaffrey said.

Mrs. McCaffrey also worked as a teacher at St. Agnes parish elementary school and a remedial reading teacher for the city's Catholic schools. She was married in 1966 to William MacDonald and the family lived in Kenya for three years before settling in 1972 in San Diego, where she worked as a secretary. Mr. MacDonald died in 1979, after they divorced.

After her retirement in 1986, Mrs. McCaffrey did volunteer work in the police-community relations and the humane society in San Diego.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Marks Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville.

In addition to her son, she is survived by five grandchildren. Two sons, Kirby McCaffrey and George McCaffrey, are deceased.

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