Mary Jane Gonville Bodge passed away peacefully on June 11, 2020, following a long journey with Alzheimer’s and recent COVID illness. She was born in Leominster, Massachusetts on August 7, 1947, a daughter of Paul T. and Rita Gonville. Mary Jane had 3 siblings and graduated Saint Bernard’s High School in Fitchburg, MA in 1964. She obtained a degree in teaching from the University of New Hampshire. Over her lifetime, she resided in many New Hampshire towns, and finally settled in Milford. She spent her last years near her daughter and grandson in West Hartford, CT.
Mary Jane served as a schoolteacher for over 35 years. She taught for over 25 years at Nashua High School, where she ran the early childhood education program and enjoyed mentoring countless young adults as they pursued their careers in early childhood development. Mary Jane went on to earn her master’s degree from Leslie University in 2003. Some of her favorite passions were crafting, fashion, evening walks on Hampton Beach, shopping for herself and others, and making people smile. Mary Jane reveled being in the moment and embraced good times with those she loved and cared about, in addition to the people she would meet along her daily journey. “Enjoy!” was her motto, and she was sure to share her advice to all she came in contact with daily. She leaves a daughter, Stephanie Bodge Barbagallo, grandson, Gavin, and son-in-law, Jeremy, of West Hartford, CT. She also leaves a sister, Cheryl Donars and husband Dave of New Berlin, WI, and two brothers, Donald Gonville and wife Lucy of Hooksett, NH and Jerry Gonville and wife Ginny of Barrington, RI. She also leaves many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and godchildren. In addition to the love she offered so many, Mary Jane appreciated beauty all around her. Whether it be her favorite flowers, daisies and hydrangeas, the beauty of “dancing clouds,” or the peacefulness of the ocean, Mary Jane absorbed it all. She shared this appreciation with so many, never arriving without a handmade craft, fresh flowers, or personalized decorations for her friends’ and family’s homes. Mary Jane brought gifts, a smile with genuine sincerity, and more often than not, a good laugh. Mary Jane will be missed by all who knew her, not just for the beautiful person she always was, but for the joy and happiness she brought to everyone she encountered. A Mass will be held Friday, August 7 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Leo’s Church128 Main St., Leominster. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.mackfamilyfh.com. Simard Funeral Home, 14 Walker Street Leominster, MA is assisting with arrangements.