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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mary Kay Farley: A True Child of the Sacred Heart

Mary Kay Tracy Farley
(1935 - 2014)

Mary Kay speaks to alumnae at the 25th Annual Sacred Heart Luncheon

Mary Kay Farley passed away July 29, 2014 at Hiland Cottage of Hospice of Little Traverse Bay. She had lived a long and happy life and went to the promised land with a smile on her face.

Mary Kay was born in Detroit, Mi. in 1935 the daughter of Emmet and Frances (Carney) Tracy. She graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grosse Pointe, Mi. She then attended Manhattanville College and Loyola (Chicago) School of Social Work graduating in 1959. She married James D. Farley in Grosse Pointe, Mi. on Feb. 27, 1960.

As an athlete, winning was important to Mary Kay, but good sportsmanship was more important. She was an honor girl at Moss Lake summer camp and learned to be a cheerful winner and a graceful loser. These traits carried throughout her lifetime. She enjoyed golf and won 24 club championships at 6 separate clubs. She probably lost 50 or more as she entered every contest that offered a trophy or plate as a prize. "Showing Up" was her mantra and she often won because few others chose to compete. She was a long-time member of the United States Senior Women's Golf Association and played in their competitions until she could no longer play golf.

Mary Kay was especially devoted to orthopedics as her youngest son was born with Scoliosis. She observed his treatments at a hospital for special surgery in New York and became a hospital trustee in 1980. She was also an officer and director of Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), an arm of the American Academy of Orthopedics. She was named an honorary orthopedic surgeon when she retired from the OREF board in 2001.

Mary Kay is survived by her husband, 4 children, 2 of their spouses, 6 grandchildren, her brother Emmet Tracy Jr, and her sister Denice Summers, also surviving are 7 sisters-in-law, 3 brothers-in-law and 35 nieces and nephews. She was preceeded in death by her brother Thomas Tracy.

Her special qualities were her organizational ability, her generosity of spirit and her cheerful disposition. She was never depressed even when battling pancreatic cancer. She was a true daughter of Detroit and loved every moment of her early years spent there. She also cherished the many summers she spent in northern Michigan.

Having known true joy on earth, she expected to encounter it again in Heaven. If you sink an especially long putt or score an unbid grand slam in bridge, think of her.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Regents of the University of Michigan (for the medical school's pancreatic cancer research), University of Michigan Office of University Development, 3003 S. State St., Suite 8000, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1288 or to the Society of the Sacred Heart (Retirement Fund), Society of Sacred Heart Mission Advancement Office, 4120 Forest Park Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108.

The Mass of the Resurrection will take place on Saturday Aug. 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM at Holy Childhood of Jesus Catholic Church in Harbor Springs, Mi. Fr. Joseph Graff will be the celebrant. Friends may arrive at the church beginning at 10:00 AM on Saturday. Interment will take place in Holy Childhood Cemetery in Harbor Springs.

The family entrusted Schiller Funeral Home for the arrangements. Online shared memories and condolences may be made at

Published in GreenwichTime on July 30, 2014

"What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories of those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what."

The above is taken from part of the poem "What Will Matter" by Michael Josephson.

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