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Mrs. Mary (Burbela) Hezzey
  • St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church,
    124 Bridge Street
    Salem, MA 01970

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The O'Donnell Funeral Home

O'Donnell Funeral Home
46 Washington Square, Salem, MA 01970
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Memories & Candles

“To the Hezzey When we lose our treasures we have to fortify ourselves with God's love to help us carry the weight on our shoulders. Remember that...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: K S

“My heart is heavy with the loss of my friend Mary. I will always remember her laugh and fun sense of humor. While she sat under the hood dryer I...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Kathy Gelsomini - Ipswich, MA

“It is with great sadness that Raffie and I learned Mary's passing. Were it possible Raffie and I would love to pay our respects in person but...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Joe Barraco - Wallingford, CT

“We are so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. I will always remember her sense of humor. She was a lovely woman and will be missed. All our love...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: Lee Barraco - Branford, CT


IPSWICH - Mrs. Mary Burbela Hezzey , beloved wife of the late Roman Hezzey, died weeks short of her 97th birthday in her home surrounded by her family. She will be remembered for her grace, sense of humor and love for her family.

Mary was born in New Haven to parents recently emigrated from Ukraine. She was the daughter of the late Joseph and Anna (Gawron) Burbela. She began her education in New Haven, became engaged to her husband of 62 years within a month of their first meeting and they resided for many years in New Haven, CT before moving to Ipswich, MA.

Mary was blessed from childhood with an extraordinary soprano voice. At a young age she performed weekly at the Schubert Theater in New Haven and had her own radio show. She auditioned for Julliard at age 13, was accepted but was unable to leave her family to attend. She later studied voice with the renowned Estelle Leibling and sang at the Metropolitan Opera. However, with war looming she trained as a dental hygienist and for many years continued to sing at weddings and special functions while working in a private dental practice.

She was very active in parish activities at St. Michael the Archangel Church in New Haven. It was while teaching English to new immigrants that she met her husband to be. Later she organized and directed a Ukrainian women's choir, was instrumental in developing the Ukrainian State Day and the Heritage Center at the church. She and her husband were a formidable team and accomplished many goals together. Upon moving to the North Shore, she continued her involvement with her new parish, St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Church in Salem, where her soprano could be heard and enjoyed through her 80s.

Mary also had civic roles she fulfilled. Her linguistic skills were often called upon by the New Haven courts where she interpreted at trials. After working in a private practice she took a position with the New Haven Health Department where she developed and piloted many programs for Headstart, PreK and migrant workers as well as running a dental clinic.

Mary is survived by her daughter Anne Hezzey and son-in-law Thomas Reardon; daughter Christine Hezzey and grandson Tim Hezzey, all of Ipswich,: niece Katharine Ellis of San Diego and nephew Joseph Burbela of Madison, CT. She delighted in her 7 step great-grandchildren and was the sister of the late Joseph Burbela of Madison CT.

ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours will be held in The O'Donnell Funeral Home, 46 Washington Sq. (at Salem Common) Salem, Friday March 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. with a Panakhyda Service at 7 P.M. Her funeral Mass will be held Saturday March 19th in St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Church, Salem at 11 A.M.. Relatives and friends invited. Burial is private. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Mary's memory to St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, PO Box 206, Salem, MA 01970 or to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St. Danvers, MA 01923. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.