Mary (Matthews) Fordham, passed away peacefully April 7, 2023 at Port Healthcare in Newburyport. She was born June 2, 1941 to the late Nicholas and Raffaella (Fosillo) Matthews.
Mary was born and raised in Newburyport, and was a graduate of Newburyport High School Class of 59. She continued her schooling graduating from Bridgewater State University Class of 63, where she earned her degree in Education.
She married the late Thomas Fordham on November 29, 1969 and the couple enjoyed 42 years of marriage.
Mary taught in the Newburyport school system for more than 35 years. She started her career at Newburyport High School before becoming a history teacher at the Rupert A. Nock Middle School. While teaching at the Middle School she earned several awards, including the Molin Award, and was named Teacher of the Year in 1998. During that time she also became a Master Teacher in 1985. Mary was highly respected among her peers and students and a lot scarier to her two sons, Nick and Tony at school then she was at home.
She loved trivia and could answer every question on Jeopardy every night and would at times sing the answers, movies and music were also a favorite. She would spend hours on the phone with her friend Linda Cilluffo discussing “The Hollywood Gossip”, talking about actors, actresses, and who was going to win the Academy Awards. She also loved planning her class reunions, sometimes setting up meetings a year in advance.
Her greatest joy came from spending time with her grandchildren.
Mary is survived by her sons, Nicholas Fordham and his wife Kelly Toscano of Newburyport, and Thomas Fordham and his wife Belinda of Plum Island; grandchildren, Jacob Buontempo of Newburyport, Skylar Fordham of Londonderry, Melissa Anderson and her husband Joe of Rowley, and Kelly Fordham of Plum Island; and niece Callie Staszewski of Gilbert, AZ. In addition to her parents and husband, Mary was predeceased by her son, Anthony Fordham; and her siblings, James Matthews, Michael Matthews, and Nicoletta Staszewski.
Family and friends may call from 4:00 to 7:00 PM on Tuesday April 11, 2023 at the Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Wednesday April 12, 2023 at Immaculate Conception Church. Burial will be private at a later date.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Mary’s name to the Nickoletta Matthews Staszewski Scholarship Fund c/o Newburyport Bank, 63 State St., Newburyport, MA 01950.
For directions or to offer online condolences please visit www.tlcfuneralhome.com
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