Helen F. (McDonald) Torney, age 97

of Braintree

Helen F. (McDonald) Torney, age 97

Helen F. (McDonald) Torney, age 97, a longtime Braintree resident, died peacefully, Sunday, October 27, 2019, in the comfort of her loving family.

Helen was born in South Boston, to the late Charles C. and Ellen F. (Harrington) McDonald. Raised in South Boston, she was a graduate of the former Gate of Heaven High School. She had lived in Braintree for sixty-four years, previously in South Boston.

Widowed at a young age, Helen joined the workforce and began her career at the Blue Hills Regional High School where she worked for over twenty-five years and was the administrative assistant to the superintendent at the time of her retirement.

Helen was a longtime active member of Saint Thomas More Parish and was a member of the Ladies Sodality. She was also a member of the South Boston Women’s Club and the Castle Island Association.

As a young woman, she was proud to have been an excellent swimmer and frequented the L Street Bath House. She was an avid golfer and enjoyed golfing and traveling with her late sister, Mary Hurley, and her dear friends.

Most of all, Helen was dedicated to her family, especially to her cherished grandchildren and great grandchildren, supporting all their many activities and accomplishments.

Beloved wife of the late Samuel F. Torney.

Devoted mother of Paul F. Torney and his wife Patricia of Mashpee and Florida, Patricia A. Torney Hackett and her husband Bud of Mashpee and Florida, William P. Torney of Weymouth, Robert F. Torney and his wife Sally of Shelburne, Vermont, and Michael P. Torney and his wife Elizabeth Foley of Braintree.

Loving grandmother of Marissa Torney, Michael Torney and his wife Regan, William Torney and his wife Caroline, Katie Torney Sherrick, Patrick Torney and his wife Michaela, James and Liam Torney, Robert Torney and his wife Hannah, Samuel, John, Sean and Daniel Torney. Helen was also the much-loved great grandmother of ten.

She was the last of eight McDonald siblings from South Boston and is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the Sweeney Brothers Home for Funerals, 1 Independence Avenue, Quincy, Saturday, November 2nd at 9 a.m. Funeral Mass in Saint Thomas More Church, 8 Hawthorne Road, Braintree at 10 o’clock. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours at the funeral home on Friday from 4 – 8 p.m. Interment Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree.

For those who wish, donations in Helen’s memory may be made to Team BIDMC 2020 at https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/bidmc-boston2020/samtorney1.


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  • A wonderful , beautiful woman who was a dear friend . We will miss her terribly .

  • Helen was my mother’s dearest friend from childhood, through teen years, the war years, raising families, and working together, first at Babson Financial and later at Blue Hills Regional Vocational School. Whether chatting on the phone about the latest happenings or sunning themselves on the beaches of Naples and Marco Island, Helen and Kay were always close friends. You can be sure that Kay was in the crowd greeting Helen at the Gates of Heaven, but she’d have to wait behind Helen’s beloved Sam. May she Rest In Peace, and may you, her family, know how much happiness you brought her.

  • Paul thinking of you and your family. Your mom was a wonderful person, I remember fondly the days down at Swift’s beach with the many things we celebrated. She had a wonderful life and raised a beautiful family.

  • So sorry to hear the news.

  • Dear Paul,Patty,Billy,Bobby,Michael,
    I truly loved your Mom, she was so kind and generous and loving to me during and after my years at Archies in Braintree. She and her sister came to visit me at Old Harbor Street in Southie when I bought Nana and Pop’s house.
    She will truly be missed and fondly remembered by all that knew her.
    If you find yourselves in the Greenwich, CT area please call me , I would love to see you.
    All my love ,
    Moira Ward

  • To all of Helen’s wonderful family
    I have thoroughly enjoyed knowing Helen these past six years.
    It was great to see her smile and enjoy our times together playing cards at Independence Manor.

    I met her daughter and a few of her sons, all of whom demonstrated their love and concern for her always. She was so proud of all of you and was the epitome of a successful and well loved mother.

    Very accomplished and independent, Helen brought a feeling of peacefulness to all those who knew her. My life was truly enhanced by knowing this outstanding woman. I’ll miss her but will cherish the time we shared.

  • My mother, Kay Dunn, loved her dear friend, Helen, and we in the family also enjoyed times spent with her. One story I loved was about the time they went to see the just-released movie The Wizard of Oz together and how they skipped down the sidewalk arm in arm on their way home singing, “ We’re off to see the wizard…”. This is how I picture them now, happy together again.

  • Dear Paul,Patti,Billy,Michael, Robert–So sad to hear of mom’s passing. I remember her very fondly and with many happy memories in Braintree. Going over your home on Sundays was a real treat when we were all so little. Your mom and dad were a big part of my young life and I will always remember those times with love. God Bless you all.

  • So sorry for your the lost wish we could be there for you all. All the best
    Mark and Suzanne Foley