Mary Fabrizio McCarthy, age 88, of Erie passed away Thursday, January 11, 2018 at St. Mary’s at Asbury Ridge. She was born February 26, 1929 in Erie the daughter of the late Amico (Mike) and Felicita Danese Fabrizio.
Mary attended Villa Maria grade school and Villa Maria Academy and graduated in 1950 from Temple University with a B.S. degree in Pharmacy. A pioneer in the field of pharmacy, she was one of only six women out of a graduating class of 80 men. Mary remained in Philadelphia for a few years as a staff pharmacist at Lankenau Hospital before deciding to return to Erie and in 1950 she began working at Hervey’s Drug Store. In 1958 with the help of her father, she purchased Hervey’s Drug Store and renamed it Frontier Pharmacy. She was the founder and sole proprietor until 1991 when her nephew, Tom Toale, took over ownership.
A women of many firsts, Mary was the first woman president of the Erie County Pharmacutical Society and was also the first woman president of the Knights and Ladies of St. Patrick. She also served on the original board of the Erie Diocese Catholic Foundation. A lifelong and active member of St. Patrick parish, she was a lector, Eucharistic minister, and served on many parish councils. She also was involved in the first and second restoration projects of St. Patrick church. Mary also enjoyed volunteering as a pharmacist at the St. Paul’s Neighborhood Free Clinic and enjoyed many interests including traveling and the ballet. Mary embraced and studied classic ballet as an avocation as she worked her career in pharmacy. She danced in the Nutcracker for the Erie Civic ballet in 1960 and returned to dance again in 2015 in their Nutcracker presentation, this time dancing as the grandmother.
Besides her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her beloved husband, James (Jamie) McCarthy; two sisters, Dr. Angelina Fabrizio, PhD and Teresa Toale; two nephews, Patrick and Michael Toale; a great- nephew,Tyler Toale and a stepson, Daniel McCarthy.
Mary is survived by her seven Toale nieces and nephews; Owen Toale and his wife Janice of Medina, NY, Tom Toale and Barbara Gingenbach of Erie and Arizona, Teresa Toale Meanor and her husband Donald of Charlotte, NC, Kevin Toale and his wife Jennie of Alpharetta, GA, Kathleen Toale Owen of Windsor, Ontario, Chris Toale and his wife Nezie of Surprise, AZ and Mary Toale Brown and her husband Michael of Dayton, OH. She is the stepmother of Brian McCarthy and his wife Patricia of Lewes, DE, Tom McCarthy of Guilford, CT, and Jim McCarthy and his wife Cindy of Oakton, VA. She is also survived by a sister- in - law, Catherine McCarthy Barren of Columbus, OH along with many great and great-great nieces and nephews and many step grandchildren. Mary’s cat Kiki made their last eleven years a joy as they both enjoyed one another’s companionship. She is also survived by her dear friends, John and Peg McCarthy.
Friends are invited to call at the Quinn Funeral Home, West 9th & Liberty St. on Tuesday from 2-4 & 6-8 PM and are invited to attend Prayer Services there Wednesday at 10:30 AM followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM in St. Patrick Catholic Church. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Flowers are graciously declined, memorials may be made to the Erie Catholic Foundation, St. Patrick Food Pantry, Because You Care, or to any organizations that serve the needy.