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Mary Rita McCarthy

Mary Rita McCarthy was born on August 13th, 1917. She grew up in St. Matthews' Parrish and would later move to Resurrection Parrish and attend Providence High School in Chicago, Illinois. Following graduation, Mary Rita would find a job at Sears Roebuck where she would stay for 40 years.

During WWII, Mary Rita would join the Grey Ladies, who were American Red Cross volunteers who worked in American hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They provided friendly, personal, and non-medical services to sick, injured, or disabled patients. They wrote letters, read, tutored, and shopped for patients, and served as guides to visitors and as hostesses in hospital recreation rooms and at information desks.


Mary Rita took an examination in order to join, and she would even have to purchase her own uniform to be allowed to volunteer. She would work at Vaughan General Hospital which ran adjacent to Hines Hospital. Here she would meet my grandmother. They used to carpool to the hospital on Tuesday and Friday evenings. After their shift, they would stop and get a Coke or ice cream and their friend group would remain close for the rest of their lives.

After the war, Mary Rita traveled abroad to Canada and even Oktoberfest in Germany. Mary Rita passed away on August 29, 2020, at the age of 103.

Thank you for your service, Mary Rita!



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