Virginia O’Leary


1929 – 2014

CANTON — After a heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Mrs. Virginia O’Leary died in Canton on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Virginia was born in Old Town on July 20, 1929, the middle daughter of Floyd and Amelia (Thibodeau) Monk. The family lived on Stillwater Avenue, as well as in Milford and other places in and around Old Town. Her parents’ families were also in the area, and she grew up visiting frequently and knowing them well. She spent most of her childhood attending school in Old Town, but also spent time in Rumford and attended Stephens High School.

She married the love of her life, Ivus O’Leary, on June 21, 1948. Her sister, Josephine, was married to William Durant in the same ceremony — a double wedding. She often commented, “Jo always had to follow me in everything.” The couple resided on Maine Avenue in Rumford for almost 20 years, moving to Mexico in 1967.

Virginia stayed active with St. Athanasius Church, teaching CCD classes and joining the Daughters of Isabella, but mostly she saw her great role in life as first a wife and then a mother. She cooked, cleaned, sewed and was always available with loving support.

Virginia had a few paying jobs throughout the years, as well as apple picking, in which she was usually accompanied by family. She loved to read romance novels and do jigsaw and crossword puzzles. The whole family liked to play cribbage, Yahtzee, Uno and lots of other card games. Once the kids were grown, she and her husband spent summers adventuring in and around some of the beautiful campgrounds in Maine; their absolute favorite was Lily Bay.

Virginia and Ivus took her mother into their home around 1973, and she continued to live with them until her death in 2006.

Virginia is survived by her sister, Margaret Howe, of Old Town; a brother-in-law, William Durant, of Billerica, Mass.; two sisters-in-law, Lucille O’Leary of Florida and Marylou Doyle of Georgia; two sons, William O’Leary of Dixfield and Michael O’Leary and his wife, Geraldine, of Klamath Falls, Ore.; a daughter, Virginia Bradeen and her husband, Archie, of Dixfield; grandchildren, Patrick Harkness, Christopher O’Leary, Michael O’Leary, Daniel O’Leary, Kenneth O’Leary, Stephanie Arsenault, Casey Campbell, Eric O’Leary, Joshua Campbell, Rachel O’Leary and Joey O’Leary; and 21 great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Ivus O’Leary; a sister, Josephine Durant; and a grandson, Matthew Harkness.

Friends are invited to sign the online guest book and share memories with the family at