Cover photo for Mary McAuley Cruz's Obituary
Mary McAuley Cruz Profile Photo
1946 Mary 2024

Mary McAuley Cruz

December 17, 1946 — January 21, 2024

New York, NY

Mary Theresa Catherine Anne McAuley Cruz, a generous and compassionate woman who devoted her life to the healthcare system, passed away on January 21, 2024, in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, NY. She was born on December 17, 1946, in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan, NY to John and Theresa McAuley. Mary will always be remembered for her unwavering support and genuine kindness towards others.

Having graduated from Cathedral High School in New York City, Mary pursued nursing classes which sparked her passion for nursing management. This education laid the groundwork for her long and successful career and contributions to the healthcare field.

Mary began her career at Hospital for Joint Diseases in 1973 and transitioned to NYU Medical Center in the early 2000s. She served in these hospital systems for an impressive 40+ years until her retirement in 2018. During her tenure as a Senior Technology Systems Analyst at NYU Medical Center, Mary's dedication and expertise greatly contributed to the success of her team. Her colleagues spoke of her warmth, her generous and collegial spirit, and her welcoming nature, especially for those new hires to the hospital.

Beyond the workplace, Mary was beloved for her captivating storytelling ability. Mary possessed a spirited heart that extended beyond her professional life. She was loyal and supportive, always lending a helping hand whenever someone needed it and taking joy in bringing people together. Her reliability made her an invaluable presence within both her personal and professional circles.

In addition to her dedication to work and family, Mary had diverse interests that brought tremendous joy to her life. She actively advocated for social justice issues with a particular focus on Northern Ireland and the Irish independence movement, expressing deep concern for equality and human rights issues in this region. In 2021, Mary became a citizen of Ireland through descent and lived the last years of her life as a proud Irish-American citizen. 

As an avid reader, she eagerly explored literary works across various genres and could finish a good book in a couple of days. She especially loved American and Irish history books, romance and mystery novels. A knowledgeable enthusiast of New York City history, Mary cherished the opportunity to share stories about the city where she grew up with others. One of her fondest traditions was participating in the renowned NYC St. Patrick's Day parade, where she proudly marched alongside fellow parade-goers and cheered on the banners of the six counties of Northern Ireland. 

Mary will be deeply missed by her surviving family members, including her daughter Alanna Kathleen Cruz, Mary’s only child, with whom she created a close bond that lasted through their shared time together. Mary’s sister Kathleen McAuley Weiss, who was a tremendous support to Mary throughout her illness, and brother John McAuley will forever treasure their memories of her. She will be deeply missed by her cherished feline companions, Amie and Phoebe. She playfully referred to herself as "Granny" to reflect her genuine love and affection towards them and her beloved former cat, Half-Pint. 

Mary is also survived by her future son-in-law Zachary Kanfer, who admired her for her strength during the two years that they knew one another, and was so happy to be able to share his engagement to Alanna before Mary passed. Her brother-in-law Buddy Weiss held a special place in Mary's heart for his unwavering love and companionship, especially when they watched episodes of Columbo together every Saturday night.

Among the many lives Mary touched are her nieces Allise Dickson and Clara Nussbaum, both of whom Mary deeply cherished as she remained a significant presence in their lives and the lives of their families.

Mary also had a number of beloved friends and former colleagues that gave her strength and support throughout her life, especially during the previous two years of her illness. She spoke often and tenderly about the many memories she created with them.  

Mary is predeceased by her parents; John McAuley and Theresa McAuley (nee McNeilly), as well as her two brothers Henry McAuley and Patrick McAuley. May she feel their warm embrace in heaven. 

“To make a long story short”, Mary was very loved and continues to be loved by those who knew her. May we find solace in celebrating the many moments we shared with her and honor her memory by embodying the values she held so dear. 

To order memorial trees in memory of Mary McAuley Cruz, please visit our tree store.

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