Mary Jane Price, 85, of Roxborough, the matriarch of a family that includes 100 nieces and nephews - each of whom she could name - died Tuesday, Nov. 22, of respiratory failure at home.
Dug into the historically working-class precincts of Northwest Philadelphia, Mrs. Price, known as "Mickey" from her maiden name of McMahon, hewed closely to her Catholic roots throughout her life.
She graduated from St. John the Baptist High School in Manayunk, then was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Andorra for 52 years.
All five of her children attended Catholic universities in the area - Gwynedd Mercy, Villanova, and La Salle. Her four sons were graduates of Roman Catholic High School in Center City, where Mrs. Price was president of the Mothers Club.
A treasured family photograph shows Mrs. Price bedecked in a Villanova scarf, impishly displaying a double thumbs-up to honor the 2016 national champion Wildcats.
"She was an amazing woman," said son George, vice president of development at DMW Direct, a marketing agency in Chesterbrook. George Price served previously as integrated sales executive at Philadelphia Media Network, parent company of the Inquirer, the Daily News, and Philly.com.
"She brought us up to get to know people, not just say hello, and to respect what they did."
The oldest of seven children born to Jim and Kitty McMahon, Mrs. Price worked at Lummis Peanut Co., which was on Delaware Avenue near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, for 10 years.
George Price said his mother was nominally an executive secretary. But in truth, she jumped in and worked several jobs, including canning the nuts. When she left the company, her job had to be filled by three men, he said.
Mrs. Price married George J. Price 57 years ago. He worked in sales and customer service for 42 years at Container Corp. of America in Manayunk.
A large and playful group, Mrs. Price's family holds a yearly golf tournament known as the McMahon Open in which the winner gets an "ugly, ugly" plaid jacket that an uncle wore in the 1980s, Price said.
Mrs. Price was at the last gathering earlier this year.
Blessed with a remarkable memory, Mrs. Price not only remembered every niece and nephew's name, she could also tell you the details of a particular dress she wore in the fourth grade, her son said.
What people will remember best about his mother, Price said, is how she went out of her way to start conversations with people as part of her desire to connect.
Along with her husband and George Price, Mrs. Price is survived by children Catherine, David, Daniel, and Gregory, and nine grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass for Mrs. Price will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 815 Cathedral Rd. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Conshohocken.
Donations may be made to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Memorial Fund, 819 Cathedral Rd., Philadelphia 19128.