Mary Kay (McAuley) Futty
July 26, 1933 ‒ September 21, 2019
Mary Kay McAuley Futty’s life revolved around family, Cleveland sports, Broadway theater and her Catholic faith.
She loved them all, but was most dedicated to her husband, Jerry, who passed away in 2011, and their four sons, four grandchildren and two daughters-in-law.
She died on Sept. 21, 2019, at age 86 at Wedgewood Estates in Mansfield, where she had been in declining health for several months.
She met her future husband when both were in elementary school at Gesu Catholic School in University Heights, Ohio. The high-school sweethearts married on Aug. 6, 1955, at Gesu Church.
They moved to Mansfield in 1961 when Jerry was hired as director of Richland County Children Services, a job he held until his retirement in 1993.
In Jerry, she found someone who more than shared her love of Cleveland sports and with whom she built an inspiring partnership, a devoted family and a loving home during 55 years of marriage.
Family often intertwined with her other loves. Vacations with her husband and sons frequently included visits to Major League cities to see the sights but also take in a ballgame or two. From 1994 to 2008, she and Jerry spent each March in Winter Haven, Fla., for Indians spring training games, often invited their sons’ families to join them for a few days.
For nearly 30 years, she and Jerry made annual trips to New York City to attend as many Broadway shows as they could squeeze into a week. They often treated their family to touring productions of Broadway shows in Columbus and Cleveland, a tradition that Mary Kay continued in recent years.
When their grandchildren were young, they delighted in taking them on trips to places as varied as Toronto, Canada, and Hershey, Pa.
After her husband died, she insisted on purchasing his Browns season tickets each year so her sons and grandchildren could continue using them.
In her final years, she regularly watched Indians, Browns and Cavaliers game on TV, texting her sons with her reactions to the victories and defeats.
As the daughter of a prominent Cleveland sportswriter, she came by her love of Cleveland sports honestly. She was born in Cleveland on July 26, 1933, to Genevieve Quinn McAuley and Edward McAuley. Her father wrote for the Cleveland News and covered the Indians during the 1930s and ‘40s. As a child, she got to know future Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Lou Boudreau and Indians owner Bill Veeck.
During an era when players, team executives and sportswriters were more likely to become friends, she recalled that Boudreau, the player-manager who led the Indians to their last World Series title in 1948, and Veeck were frequent guests in her childhood home. She told stories about Boudreau making a surprise appearance at her sister’s 16th birthday party and once giving them a ride home from Cleveland Stadium as their father worked late on a game story. Veeck, she said, loved to sing along as her mother played piano in their living room.
She grew up in an Irish household that was full of music. She and her sister often entertained family and friends by harmonizing to their mother’s accompaniment. They once were contestants on the Gene Carroll Show, a Cleveland television variety program.
She was a brilliant student. She earned her high school diploma at Beaumont School in 1951 and graduated magna cum laude from Ursuline College, where she was first in her class in 1955. She was inducted into Kappa Gamma Pi, the national Catholic college honor society.
She studied to be a teacher of French, History and English. She taught at two Cleveland area schools, Empire Junior High and Sacred Heart High School in the mid-1950s before starting her family. After all of her sons were off to school, she taught French at St. Peter’s High School in Mansfield from 1968 to 1972.
She worked as a bookkeeper at Friendly House for two decades beginning in the mid-‘70s.
Mary Kay was proud of her Irish heritage and her Catholic faith, attending St. Peter’s Church in Mansfield and singing in the church choir for about 30 years beginning in the 1970s.
She is survived by two sons, John (Mari Ann) Futty of Columbus and Michael (Paula) Futty of Mansfield; and grandchildren, Allie Futty of Burlington, Vt., Kate Futty of Columbus, Kayli Futty of Columbus and Jack Futty of Columbus.
In addition to her husband and her parents, she was preceded in death by two sons, Stephen Futty and Edward Futty, and a sister, Ann Jeffries.
The Futty family will receive friends Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. in the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. A funeral mass will be held Friday, September 27, 2019 beginning at 10:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Catholic Church (104 West First Street, Mansfield). Father Gregory Hite will officiate. Burial will follow in Mansfield Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Friendly House or the Gerald F. Futty Fund at Richland Foundation (Please make checks payable to Richland Foundation with Gerald F. Futty Fund on the memo line).
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