Mary (O'Neil) Good

Mary Good, passed away early in the morning on Sunday, May 17th, 2020 in the unusual and isolating time of Corona virus, and under the compassionate and gentle care of the staff of St. Patrick’s home in the Bronx, NY.

Mary, daughter of Charles and Evelyn, sibling to Lucy, Christine, Charlie and John, widow of William, mother to Marybel, Jonah, and John, grandmother to nine and great-grandmother to three, and loved by others as mother-in-law, sister-in-law, coworker, aunt, and friend.

Mary passed away sleeping and peaceful, virtually hugged by her family and prayed for by many faithful friends. We are confident that she was greeted in Heaven by her husband Bill who waited 13 years and 4 days for her to finish her earthly work.

Mary worked in faith-based non profits most of her life beginning as a teenager at Holy Cross parish in Brooklyn. In 1960, she joined the Chicago-based national team of Young Christian Workers USA where she met Bill Good. They married in 1964 and moved to Selma, Alabama during the early civil rights era to live and work with the segregated black community at St. Elizabeth’s, an Edmundite parish. After having three children, Mary and Bill returned to New York City in 1967 where Mary worked for Bread for the World, Catholic Relief Services and eventually retired from the National Pastoral Life Center where was on the publication team of Church Magazine.

Mary extended hospitality to both friends and strangers, drank a continuous cup of hot tea with lots of milk throughout each day, and valued every person she met as important and essential to the world. In retirement, Mary made found friendships and support through the Dance for Parkinsons Disease program at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn. Mary loved her family, the Church, and New York City and practiced her faith through living and working for social justice.

If you would like to contact Mary’s family, you can write to her daughter at

‘In light of the recent worldwide occurrences dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19”; A Memorial Gathering of Family & Friends will be planned for a later date and time. An Inurnment will take place privately at the convenience of the family in the St. Raymond’s Cemetery, Bronx, NY. Arrangements were entrusted to the professional care of the LIBBY FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, 55 Teller Avenue, Beacon, NY 12508 845-831-0179. If you’d like to offer a message of condolence or share a fond memory of Mary with her family, please visit:

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  1. Amy Bauman says:

    I remember Mary as one of the kindest people I have ever met. My connection to Mary was through Dance for Parkinson’s Disease at Mark Morris. Mary was always concerned with how ‘you’ , the person at the other end of the conversation, was doing. A very generous soul.
    Warm memories,
    Amy Bauman

  2. Bea McMahon says:

    I’m blessed to have shared life and laughter, friendship and prayer with Mary and Bill Good and family for too many year to number. Mary’s beauty, Bill’s poetry, their giving, prophetic lives have been an inspiration beyond measure. The following is a reflection of Bill’s sent with a photo of barnacles on a jetty at the shore where our prayer group sometimes gathered:
    ‘ The stuff of reflection – barnacles on the wooden posts. The wood will wear away. The ocean will give and take away. Barnacles are alive. They don’t last forever (like plastic) but they are crusty and enduring, built from softness. We have to teach the softness.’ That softness of heart – sensitive, loving, true – is how I will always remember Mary Good. Bea McMahon, RSHM

  3. Laura DeSmedt says:

    Aunt Mary was absolutely one of the sweetest, most gentle people I have ever known. She was just beautiful, inside & out, and had a great laugh! When I would talk to Aunt Mary she didn’t just hear me, she really listened to what I was saying. So often when I would tell her something, she would smile and reply, ‘That’s terrific!’ I can still clearly hear her saying those words. I will miss Aunt Mary, but I know she is now at peace in Paradise.
    Love & prayers,
    Laura & the DeSmedt Family

  4. Karina says:

    Marybel, I am sorry I never got a chance to meet your mom, she sounds like an amazing person! Please know the Coffer Family will be praying for you and your family. I love the visual of your dad waiting for her on a street corner! I can imagine them walking hand in hand on the streets of gold in heaven.

  5. Joe Kelly says:

    Marybel, I have such great memories of your mom and your dad–going to the apartment on Henry St. was like a fabled adventure for us–so exotic to be in the city! And my very definition of efficiency was watching your mom conduct family life and our visits. I remember her taking down a jar or a coffee mug from a kitchen shelf and counting out ‘car fare’ from the quarter cup and the dime cup. Car fare for the subway! It didn’t make sense to me but I loved just watching her do it. I remember strange small things like that: your mom making fresh ham for us one evening when she was taking care of us in New Jersey (my mom must have accompanied dad on a business trip). I never had fresh ham before and for some reason what I remember is your mom serving a portion onto my plate and looking at me with her dimpled smile. Nothing particularly to interpret in the memory, but the image is seared there like those few mythic and meaningful images of childhood: such a loving and lovely woman. I loved her very much.

  6. Marybel Good says:

    Reflection from Art Simon, founder of Bread for the World:

    Mary Good, wasBread’s only secretarial assistant to me and the staff during Bread’s first decade, while we were based in New York. Mary was truly saintly and skilled, a treasure to our entire staff and to the mission of Bread for the World during those formative years. She was also deeply devoted to her family and church, a loving reflection of Christ. Her last years included the shadow of Parkinson’s disease, and most recently the compassionate and gentle care of St. Patrick’s home in the Bronx, where, reports her daughter, Marybel, ‘my mom continued to get through each day with quiet dignity, always choosing to thank her caretakers rather than complain.’ So characteristic of Mary! Thank God for Mary Good and the life she so generously shared with us!

  7. Marybel Good says:

    Dear Marybel,
    Please accept my sincerest condolences on your beloved mother’s passing. My heart goes out to you and your family during this very trying and difficult time for you. The entire Dance for PD community adored Mary–and she had a very special place in my heart. Her gentle warmth and ever-glowing spirit will always be present in our memories, and in that way, she will always be dancing with us. Right now, during this challenging time on many fronts, I hope you are able to find time for contemplation, grieving and remembrance.

    I am also grateful to you and your family for inviting people to contribute to the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD program in Mary’s memory. Your generosity is deeply humbling and appreciated. Gifts that we receive in Mary’s honor will serve to extend the incredible legacy she forged as a long-time member of our dancing community.

    You will continue to be very much in my thoughts.

    With my condolences,
    David Leventhal
    Program Director, Dance for PD®
    Mark Morris Dance Group | 3 Lafayette Ave. | Brooklyn, NY 11217
    office: +1.718.624.8400 x 240 | Dance for PD® toll-free line: 1.800.957.1046

  8. says:

    Marybel and family,
    Mary and I were the same age and we were first cousins. Your grandmother was my father’s oldest sister. Several times I was able to visit Mary and Bill when in the NYC area on business. The last time I saw her was October 2010 when she came to my mother’s wake in upstate New York. Our deepest condolences to you all at this time.
    David and Lauren Riel

  9. mike says:

    We both remember Mary Good with the great work and help she gave us all at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital Parkinson’s
    Neurology Department support group. There was not a more gentlewoman that graced us all at this clinic.
    Kitt Barnes & Michael Martone

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