Mary E. Pelland (Pirraglia), 57, of North Scituate, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. She was the beloved wife of William Pelland. They were happily married for 31 years. Born in Providence, she was the loving daughter of Anna (DeChristopher) Pirraglia and the late John “Jack” Pirraglia.
Mary was an amazing artist. She attended RISD on a scholarship. She always carried a small sketch pad and pencil in her purse to create drawings of people she observed while sitting at lunch with her sisters on Saturday afternoons. It wasn’t unusual for her to approach a person she didn’t know and hand them a drawing of themselves. Imagine their surprise!
She loved Impressionism. During her first trip to Manhattan, she visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Museum was hosting a special exhibit of the artists she especially admired: Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, and others. She sat in front of Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ for 30 minutes, explaining the friendship among these masters to her sister. People started gathering near her to absorb the history lesson.
Mary and her father had a very special relationship. They shared many common interests. They both had a talent for drawing. They enjoyed talking politics, and going to hockey and football games, especially the annual Patriots practice at Bryant. When she had algebra or geometry homework, they would do it together.
Mary's sisters agree she was the best cook and had the most refined palate. She always knew how to adjust the seasoning to improve the recipe. If she said, "It needs a little more salt," it did. When she said your dish was good, you knew it was really good.
She and her husband, Bill, hosted a flock of hummingbirds, the “Mary E flock”. Every year, when the hummingbirds left for the season, Mary would bid them Godspeed. They were always fattened up and well prepared for their journey when they left for the year. Many other varieties of birds made Mary and Bill’s little house their home. Family and friends spent many hours enjoying the sanctuary they created for the birds and other animals. Another regular visitor was Buddy the beagle, a neighbor’s dog who would rather hang out at Mary’s than at home.
Mary went with Bill wherever he wanted to go. They hiked steep trails in the White Mountains, and skied the advanced slopes. They hitch hiked across the country and back. She faced any challenge with grace, and never complained.
Besides her husband, she is survived by her devoted sisters, Jacqueline Lehr, Joan Pirraglia and Ann Morrissey. Godspeed, Mary.
Visitation will be held Wednesday morning October 12th from 8am to 9am at the MACERONI Funeral Home, 1381 Smith Street, North Providence followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10am at St. Thomas Church, 65 Fruit Hill Avenue, Providence. Burial will follow at St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary’s memory may be made to: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Rhode Island Chapter, 205 Hallene Road, Suite 209, Warwick, RI 02886.