Mary J. Farren Atelski

March 28, 1953 ‒ April 04, 2015

Lexington, Ohio

LEXINGTON: Mary J. Farren Atelski went home to be with the Lord after an unexpected battle for her life Saturday, April 4, 2015 in Ohio Health MedCentral Mansfield Hospital ER following a sudden illness. She was 62.

She was born March 28, 1953 in the Bronx, NYC to Irish immigrant parents Owen & Bridget (O’Grady) Farren. Her father soon moved the family to Indianapolis, IN and Mary was graduated from St. Agnes Academy. After high school she earned her associates degree from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis to become a dental assistant.

Mary, her husband & their daughter moved to the Lexington area in 1990. Her passion was volunteer work and her mission in life was to help others. Mary was a good listener, great advice-giver, and a friend and confidant to many. Her calm and compassionate voice could set anyone right at ease. Even for acquaintances, she went above and beyond: delivering meals to folks at home with meals-on-wheels, driving people to the airport and other appointments (or even on cross-country trips!), and taking a genuine interest in every person with whom she conversed.

Whenever she got the chance, Mary wanted to spend time with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson—gatherings with family and friends were her favorite moments. She also enjoyed working out and was training for a 5k.

Mary was at the core of Resurrection Parish in Lexington. She committed her time and talents to volunteer for the church in every way she could: adult formation, 5 year strategic planning committee, sacrificial giving committee, past member of the pastoral council, nursing home luncheons, a volunteer with VBS, and was an integral part of the Ignite movement in the deanery…too many areas to fully list. Everyone at Resurrection will miss her deeply.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Shannon & Brian Hayes of Avon Lake; her almost 4-year-old grandson Owen Hayes; her husband Steve Atelski of Indianapolis, IN; two brothers and their wives Owen & Kathy Farren of Philadelphia, PA and Neil & Terri Farren of Dallas, TX; a sister Bridget Farren of Indianapolis, IN; eleven nieces and nephews; numerous relatives in New York, Ireland, and Scotland; many godchildren and countless close friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Her family will receive friends 2-4 and 5-8 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2015 in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where a vigil service will begin at 8 p.m. Mass of Catholic Burial will be offered 11 a.m. Friday morning at Resurrection Parish celebrated by the Very Rev. Father Nelson Beaver and burial in Lexington Cemetery will be held at a later date.

Contributions in her memory to Resurrection Parish or Hospice of North Central Ohio (where Mary also volunteered) may be made at the services.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Mary’s family and encourage you to watch her tribute video and share a fond memory or message of condolence at

  • Shannon & family,

    Thanks for trusting me with such an important event this week. I enjoyed hearing all the stories about Mary–she was the perfect example of someone with a servant’s heart.

    Remember, I’m only a phone call away.

    Hannah Snyder, funeral director

  • Shannon, while you were crying in the ER room with your mom, a lady in the next room was crying with you and began to pray. My mommy was in the ER next to you guys. She was heartbroken for you and called me to pray. We began lifting you up in prayer from that moment on.
    Please know we asked God to surround you with His presence right in the midst of your mom’s battle for life.
    So so sorry.
    Gina K.

    • Thank you so much Gina. I remember looking at your mom 1-2 times during the awful hour that I endured, and I was hoping that I was not scaring her. I was just so scared and shocked and couldn’t believe what was happening. My mom fought so hard and we just don’t know why she left us so soon. Thank you for all the prayers.

  • So so sorry to hear of Marys passing. Heaven received another angel. She was the true being of a Christian. Thoughts and prayers are with her family as well as her Resurrection family.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Mary was a wonderful and kind woman. You are all in my thoughts and prayers, especially in this tough time.

  • We are so very sorry to hear of this unexpected loss. We will pray for peace and understanding as you try to heal your hearts. Thankfully we can all be sure your family will have your own guardian angel watching over you!
    Take care!

  • Shannon,
    I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting your Mom but if she was anything like you, she must have been a wonderful, kind and thoughtful person. I’m sure your Moms Irish eyes are smiling down on you and she’s holding you close to help you through this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Brian and Owen, and all of your family at this time. May your Mom rest in peace.

  • Mary was my dear friend, I will miss her so much, I can’t even believe this is happening. I want to share a cute, funny story that may make you smile. Mary and Steve were coming to visit my family. After speaking with her on the phone, my 2 1/2 year old daughter asked who I was speaking to. I said, Mary, and she was coming to visit us for Easter. My daughters response…”Is she bringing Joseph and Jesus too?” RIP my dear cherished friend! My thoughts and prayers are with all who know and love Mary. God Bless.

  • Shannon,
    Please know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We can’t be there, but we are thinking about you. Keep all of your wonderful memories close in your heart. May God keep you in his loving arms.

  • Shannon. Carol and I are sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. We always enjoyed exchanging Christmas cards. Please accept our condolences.
    Tom and Carol Kulinski

  • I didn’t know your mom that well…but I know she helped our church, Resurrection out so much in all the ways she voluntered. She was a real blessing for our parish!

    I am very sorry for your lost!

  • Mary was a grade school classmate at Holy Spirit School in Indianapolis. I had lost track of her over the years, and was sorry and stunned to hear of her passing. We have lost far too many already from that Class of ’67, and it’s hard for me to come to grips with the fact that we will all be, too soon, the generation remembered. Prayers, of course for her and her family, and remember that she is dancing an Irish Jig now with those who went on life’s journey before her.

  • I had the absolute pleasure of working with Mary several years ago. Even after we had both moved on to different jobs, Mary stayed in contact with me via email and we would even meet for dinner on occasion. Such a kind, tender hearted woman she was. Mary always had the best advice and was a great support in all I did. I’m sure she has touched countless lives the way she has done for me, and she will truly be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. My thoughts are with you, Shannon in this hard time. I have never seen a mother more proud of her child as she was of you and your beautiful family. Thinking of you…

  • I am so sorry for your loss – she did a great job raising a wonderful daughter – you, Brian and Owen are in my thoughts & prayers

  • I was a classmate of Mary’s at Holy Špirit grade school. I enjoyed reading about her full life and how she made a difference. Our youngest daughter was an Irish step dancer and I often thought of Mary during her performances. Please know that Mary is remembered.
    Bill Farrell
    Golden, Colorado

    • Bill…..we have been friends with the Farren kids for as long as Dan and I have been married. Small world!

  • My condolences goes out to your family. Nothing prepares us for the pain that comes with losing a loved one. May you find comfort not only in your family and friends, but in God. He is the hearer of prayers and will give us comfort.
    Psalms 34:18

  • Dear Shannon, Brian, Owen,

    Our hearts our heavy with the loss of your beloved Mom, Mary. Shannon, sometimes we have things we doubt or wonder about in life. One thing that you never had to doubt was the love that your Mom had for you in her heart. It was always evident in her sparkling Irish eyes when we ran into each other and she talked about you ,Owen, and Brian. It was evident in the stands when she was watching you play volleyball. We truly wish there was some way to take away your pain with her sudden passing. All l of us who loved you and her are in shock with you. Hold tight to the precious memories we know that you have . We know that you will miss her forever.

    With our love and prayers,
    Shirley and Joe Nasipak

  • I, like everyone at Resurrection was shocked and sorrowful to hear about Mary. We worked on several projects together. I especially remember the times we shared in our Book Club. Mary always had very good input on our discussions about the book we were reading at the time. I always looked to Mary as an inspiration to do more and help more people. Mary and your family have been in my prayers each day and will continue to do so. It gives me a good feeling to know that I personally know an angle in heaven. God gave us the pleasure of Mary’s presence but for some reason he needed her to go home to be with him. May God Bless you and your family and give you peace.

  • Shannon,
    I am so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing, she was too young. Losing a loved one is very, very hard, but we have to keep the great memories we have of their life alive. Losing my husband in January at the age of 59 was terrible, so I know what you are going through. They say it takes time to heal from this.. so hopefully it will get a little easier. I can say that Heaven just gained two wonderful Angels. Your are such a wonderful person and it sounds like you took after your Mother. My sympathy is with you and your family at this time.

  • Shannon, your mother was a dear friend of mine. Words cannot express my sadness of your mother’s passing. I will cherish the memories of the times that Mary and I spent together. She will truly be missed. May the comfort of God help you through this difficult time.

  • Shannon,
    Ken & I extend our sincere sympathy to you and your family. All of us at Resurrection were shocked when we heard about Mary’s death.I have had the privilege of having Mary work with me on our Nursing Home luncheon what a loving and kind person she was.

    You can be so proud of your Mom she was a very giving person always wanting to help someone she will definitely be missed by everyone especially her family at Resurrection Parish.

    May God’s peace be with you and your family
    Ken and Janet Bishop

  • Dear Shannon,
    Words cannot express my sadness and shock at the terrible news I recieved. Please know that my prayers are with all of you. I have such wonderful memories of Mary, and was looking forward to seeing her next month to catch up on lost time. Mary was a kind and caring friend. She put her heart and soul into everything she did – and she did much for many! May you find peace in knowing that her spirit will forever touch us all. Love, Annie

  • Shannon Marie,

    We were so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. What a beautiful woman…inside and out. I remember as a little girl being in awe of how beautiful and smart she was. She always lit up the room with her smile. We will not be able to be there, but will be thinking of you and keeping you all in our prayers. Much love, thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  • Meeting Mary was an unforgetable experience. She was at the the Cathedral High School dance after the basketball game and was having a great time. Forty years later, I talked to her at the Cathedral/ Ladywood St. Agnes 40th Reunion and she still had the glow that I remebered from so many years ago.

    Today I grieve Mary’s death and send my best personal regards to Steve and the Atelski family. May she rest in peace.


  • Dear Shannon, Brian, and Owen,

    We are still attempting to take Mary’s passing in to our heads. As far as hearts, she will be remembered always by us as a neighbor, friend and, most importantly, as a woman of God. We find it difficult that she will not be here at our home sharing a cup of tea, or sitting across from us at dinner chatting about this or that.

    Bob and I pray that you will feel our Lord’s comforting arms wrapped securely around you during this most difficult and sad time.

    In Christ,


  • Dear Steve,
    I know we haven’t seen each other in years and I never knew your wife but my heart goes out to you. Take care of yourself and my God bring comfort to you and your family.
    Your old friend,

  • Shannon,
    I just read with sadness about the passing of your mother. Mary and I were cousins growing up in Indy. Our families were close when we were young. I don’t know if I ever met you unless it was at Therese Orfaits when you were a baby. Therese always kept me posted on your mother and you as life moved on. Your mother and I shared Therese as a godmother. Mary was a genuine nice person.
    I am so sorry for your loss and I will be praying for you and your family!

    Mary O’Grady Nicodemus

  • So sorry for your loss. Mary and I worked together on the recycle drive at Resurrection among other things. She was so active volunteering at Resurrection with so many things that some people thought she worked there! I am pretty sure it will take a dozen volunteers to do all the things she did, but she can never be replaced in the minds and hearts of those who knew her.

  • My deepest sympathies for the Atelski family during this time of mourning. I was not only a classmate of Mary’s in grade school (Holy Spirit) but a high school classmate of Steve (Cathedral). My prayers are with you and your family, Steve. I wish I could be there to express my condolences personally. Requiescat in pacem, Mary.

  • I was shocked Sunday at Mass to hear that Mary had passed. In the past couple of years I had the privilege of working with Mary in the Nursing Home Luncheons. She would come in and help us serve and clean up the kitchen. I also enjoyed visiting with her after Mass some Sundays when she joined the McDonald breakfast. Dropping off recycle papers and cardboard will not be the same without her helping me put my stuff in the trailer. She was admired and loved by all who came in contact with her. I will miss seeing her but I know that she is spending time with the Lord in Heaven. Praying for all of her family.

  • Shannon and family,
    Our deepest sympathies to you . Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Love always, The Navratils (Ken, Elaine,Arron,Andrea and
    Adam )

  • Dear Steve, Shannon and Family,

    The world has lost a wonderful, gracious, and spirited soul in Mary’s passing. My deepest condolences and prayerful thoughts are with you — she has left us far too soon. I fondly remember the old times when Mary made us smile with the Irish jig in grade school, the special memory of catching up at the Cathedral/St Agnes reunion, and the caring person she was throughout her life. God bless you.

  • Dear Shannon and family,
    When I learned of Mary’s death I thought quickly to tell Martha. Then I realized she already knew. Martha held a special place in her heart for Mary. Shannon she cared greatly for you as well. I am sure they are doing fine in their reunion.
    I liked your mom very much. She had a kindness that ran deep and abundant. She sent me a sweet card on this Saint Patricks Day. I will treasure it always. Her faith was true, her reward certain.
    Requiescat in Pace.

  • I am going to miss Mary a lot. We had so many good times together, so many great times. She was grandmother like figure to me. D: She was great listener too.

    We will all miss her a lot.

  • I am going to miss Mary a lot. We had so many good times together, so many great times. She was grandmother like figure to me. D: She was great listener too.

    We will all miss her a lot.

  • I just learned about Mary’s passing. She befriended me when I first moved to Mansfield. She was my travel partner to and fro to Florida. I shall miss her.

  • Dear Shannon and Brian and Owen, May i wish you all every condolence and sympathy on the death of Mary. I have very fond memories of her and the family coming to the north of Ireland in the time of the Troubles. I also stayed with the family in Indpls during the summer in 1972. Mary on that occasion and on a further visit when i was a priest was more than kind to me. I hope daddy and myself returned some of that hospitality when she came to Ireland recently with her friend Mary. I offered mass for her on Monday of this week. It is easter. Her parish was that of the resurrection. May she now share the joy of the risen Lord. I will remember you all in my prayers and mass. Love from your cousin Fr. Robert , Dundrum Ireland.

  • Hi There,

    We are family from the UK and were so saddened to hear of this news 🙁

    You are all in our prayers. I hope that you can find strength in the fact that Mary was loved by so many and was truly a wonderful woman 🙂

    Lots of love


  • For the Atelski family and for all of the Farrens, we are deeply saddened with Mary’s passing. After reading the condolences, we are reminded just how loving and giving Mary was. And she is gone too soon by today’s standards.

    We pray that you will feel a sense of comfort in knowing that Mary is surely in eternity with our Maker. And no doubt, she has been told, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

    So sorry,
    Betsy and Dan

  • Shannon & Family,

    I was shocked when I heard of Mary’s passing at mass, she was a wonderful person she helped us with our Nursing Home Luncheons at Resurrection Parish and I also worked with her in the canteen when we had blood drives at Resurrection. Your mother was a very giving person, she will be missed by all who knew her.

    Mary Laisure