Friday, September 11th, 2020
Mary Therese Rosella Reilly, 77, of Berea, KY departed this life on Sept. 9, 2020. She passed peacefully at Bluegrass Hospice after a nearly year-long battle with cancer.
She was born to the late Herman and Henrietta Hoying on March 25, 1943 on their farm in Carthagena, Ohio.
She was known by many names. Mary to her siblings, Sister Myra to the nuns, Therese to her friends and husband, Mom and Grandma to her children and grandchildren. No matter what she was called, Mary Therese was known for her servants' heart, an easy laugh, finding joy in life's littlest things, and her tireless work ethic.
She prided herself in taking good care of all of those around her and being of service to her community. In her early life she was a nun in the Precious Blood order and after graduating from the University of Dayton, she taught elementary school in Cincinnati, Ohio.
She then met her husband Dave while volunteering with the Christian Appalachian Project, teaching kindergarten in Jackson County, KY. Together they made their home in Berea, KY for the past 40 years where they raised 5 children and were active members of St. Clare Catholic Church.
Mary Therese enjoyed her women's group and making handicrafts and food items for the annual bazaar. Over the years, she was a regular volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and PeaceCraft. Mary Therese made weekly donations to the food pantry, stopping by on her way to the store to find out what was needed. She was known to give rides to strangers or provide food to the hungry that she met on her daily trips around town.
Mary Therese loved to garden and feed her family with the fruits of her labor. She took pride in passing on the traditions of planting and harvesting to her children and grandchildren. She had an incredible knowledge of plants that made every hike to the Pinnacles an education about the various trees and flowers of the forest. She also had quite the competitive spirit and enjoyed a fun game of cards. She was always looking for a good hand and a good partner for the win.
Mary Therese never met a stranger and was infinitely interested in hearing other people's stories. She liked to share her own stories and was a friend to many. She will be greatly missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.
She is survived by her husband Dave Reilly of Berea, KY, daughter Sarah (Reilly) Hoffman and her husband David of Raleigh, NC, Nathan Reilly and his wife Theresa of Cincinnati, Ohio, Rachel Reilly and her husband Ty Bullard of Chapel Hill, NC, Danielle Reilly of Beverly Hills, MI, Elizabeth (Reilly) Hays and her husband Rob of Lexington, KY; and 12 of her 16 siblings. She has 12 grandchildren: Jonathan, Reese, Henry, Peter, Elise, Denise, Michael, Noah, Vivian, Joseph, Rebecca, and Brandon.
Funeral Mass will be 1:00 PM Saturday, September 12th, 2020 at Saint Mark Catholic Church in Richmond, KY with Father Mark Hoying officiating, you may join the family via livestream at www.davisandpowellfuneralhome.com. Burial will follow in the Berea Cemetery.
Visitation will be 6-8 PM Friday at Davis & Powell Funeral Home in Berea.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to PeaceCraft (128 Main St. Berea, KY 40403), Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark County (PO Box 186, Richmond, KY 40476), or Bluegrass Hospice (1733 Harrodsburg Rd. Lexington, KY 40504).
In accordance with Governor Beshear's executive order social distancing and facial coverings will be required.