Mary Cunningham Dort died peacefully at her home in Ipswich on March 24, 2021 after a brief illness. She was 90 years old. Born in Ipswich on November 8, 1930, she was the daughter of James E. and Edith J. (O’Connell) Cunningham. She was the widow of Charles W. Dort, II.
Both she and her husband were lifelong residents of Ipswich. Mary attended local schools and graduated Ipswich High School, Class of 1948. She attended The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, but left after two years to marry.
After raising her children she returned to school, earning an Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy from North Shore Community College. She subsequently worked for seventeen years on the Mental Health Unit at Salem Hospital.
Mary and Charles travelled to Europe a number of times, first as sponsors of ski trips for high school students to the Italian, French and Swiss Alps. Later they travelled more extensively in Europe and Hawaii with their oldest friends, Herbert and Charlotte Wild of Ipswich. Mary read voraciously and the love of reading was something she passed on to all her children. She had a special fondness for reading cookbooks, of which she had a large collection. But, her most abiding loves were her family and home. She in turn was cherished by her family and many friends. Mary was a lifelong Democrat. She had a lovely voice and a sharp wit.
Mary is survived by her children: Charles W. Dort, III and Anne E. Francis, both of Ipswich. Christopher and Leticia Dort of St. Petersburg, FL, Peter and Paula Dort of Plainville, MA. A brother, James E. Cunningham, Jr. and his wife Carole, of Londonderry, NH. Her grandchildren: Charles Francis of Providence, RI, Marc and Caitlin Francis of Dorchester, Jason and Melissa Dort and Meghan Dort and Robert Deins of St. Petersburg, FL, Bryce Dort of Quincy and Olivia Dort of Plainville, Ben and Christy Huggins of San Mateo, CA, Lucas Huggins and Charley Howe of West Paris, ME. Mary was predeceased by her husband Charles, a daughter Ann Conway of Newburyport, a son-in-law Donald Francis of Ipswich, a sister Edith F. Blodgett of Peabody and a brother Richard T. Cunningham of Danvers.
A graveside service is planned for a later date. All those wishing to make a donation in Mary’s name may do so to: Care Dimensions Hospice Care 75 Sylvan Street Suite B-102 Danvers, MA 01923. Assisting the Dort family is the Morris Funeral Home of Ipswich. To send a letter of condolence to Mary’s family please go to: MorrisFH.com .