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Mary Ann Torrence 1933-2020

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Mary Ann Torrence, 86, of Thomaston, Connecticut, departed this life on Sunday, August 30, 2020.

She was born in Torrington, CT November 15, 1933, daughter of the late Andrew Lawrence and Margaret Mary (Mannion) Kost. She attended St. Francis School, and graduated from Torrington High School in 1951, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven in 1955. She was a beloved teacher to hundreds of students in the Torrington and Thomaston schools, served as a cheerleading coach, and later enjoyed working with former students who also became teachers and worked alongside her. Those that taught beside her, such as Tina Dervis, became life-long friends. Her love of learning was contagious.

After being introduced to him by her dear friend Merna, on May 3, 1958, May Ann became the bride of the love of her life, Jack Torrence, of Thomaston, Connecticut. During their 53 years together until his death in 2011, Mary Ann and Jack built a large and loving family, both immediate and extended.

“Family” was everything to them. Devoted to supporting their children, the Torrence home became the place were all were welcome without question or judgement. Their kitchen table was the center of life, where an extra place was always set to be used by someone who might appear unexpectedly. It has been said that all the problems of the planet would be solved if world leaders could spend an hour at that table.

Vacations to the Jersey Shore, Cape Cod, and Highland Lake were opportunities to be joined by throngs of cousins and friends for hours of merriment, acres of good food, and endless laughter and song.

Mary Ann was noted for her quick-witted humor. When young women would call the family home to arrange a wedding through Jack Torrence’s role as a Justice of the Peace, they would say “Can I speak to Jack Torrence, because I want him to marry me,” she would reply “I’m sorry, he’s already married, but I’m sure he’d be happy to perform a ceremony for you.”

She leaves behind two sons: John F. Torrence, Jr. of New Haven and Joseph D. Torrence and his wife Karen of Hartland, Michigan; and her daughters: Margaret Mary Rose and her husband Robert of Spotsylvania, Virginia; Mary Katherine Torrence of Malden, Massachusetts; and Julianne Torrence of Thomaston. "Bonna" also leaves her eight adoring grandchildren: Rachel, John (Jack), Jacob (Jake), Spencer, Luke, and Colin Torrence; and John and Emma Rose, as well as countless cousins, “adopted” children, neighbors and dear friends. She was predeceased by her sister, Marguerite E. Kost.

An avid and life-long reader of books, Mary Ann served as a board member of the Thomaston Library, and was a co-founder of the “Books for Babies” program of the library which provided a “Born to Read” bib, a story book, and a first library card to all the children born to families in Thomaston. Bonna loved her Library Ladies with whom she shared so many lunches and laughs! In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Thomaston Public Library in hopes of restarting the “Books for Babies” program as a living memorial in her honor, or, to expand the large print and audio book collections for visually and hearing impaired patrons.

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