Mary Ellen O'Doherty

Obituary of Mary Ellen "Helen" O'Doherty

Mary Ellen “Helen” O’Doherty, 90, of Howell passed peacefully into God’s hands at home on Sunday, December 10, 2023. With the divine intervention of God, she went Home on the second anniversary of her beloved husband’s passing, with her loving family praying by her side. She was born and raised in Limerick City, Ireland where she loved going to the dances in her late teens. She met her husband, Eric in Limerick when he fatefully became “the boy next door”.  Later, with their marriage in London in 1957, their love story of 64 years began. Their journey together would take them from Ireland, to London, back to Ireland, and finally to America. They first settled in Old Bridge, NJ before settling into their forever home in Howell in 1983.


Helen was a woman of faith, a devout Catholic, and a long-time parishioner of the Church of St. Veronica. She was the family historian, knowing the names, birthdates, and marriages of families going back decades. She would often tell her children and grandchildren stories of her life and family in Ireland. After emigrating to the States, she made it a point to consistently return home to Limerick for weddings, funerals, or even just to visit, up until her last visit in the summer of 2022. She loved a game of cards, rounds of Rummy Tile, and watching Jeopardy. But Helen loved nothing more than her proud role as “Nana”. She lovingly and patiently cared for all four of her grandchildren up until the time they each began school, and she continued to do so for the rest of her life. Helen never had an unkind word for anyone. She leaves behind a legacy of kindness, generosity, warmth, love, and affection for all who were lucky to have known her.


Helen is predeceased by her husband, Eric O’Doherty, siblings, John Cronin, Ann Power, Martin Cronin and Sheila Aherne. She is survived by her sister Breda Lenihan of Limerick, Ireland, her two children, Dominic O’Doherty and his wife, Marijane of Brick, and Carolyn O’Doherty and her husband, Steven Schwiering of Brick; her four grandchildren: Fiona O’Doherty of Arlington, Virginia, Shane Sturtevant of Charlestown, MA, Eric O’Doherty of Brick, NJ, and Logan Sturtevant of Brick, NJ, and many, many loving extended family members.


Visitation will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township on Thursday, December 14, 2023, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend Helen’s 9:30 AM Funeral Mass on Friday, December, 15, 2023 at St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church, 4215 US 9, Howell, NJ 07731. Interment will follow in St. Anne Cemetery, 1610 Allenwood Road, Wall Township, NJ 07719. In lieu of flowers, on behalf of Helen’s advocacy for the Food Pantry at St. Veronica’s, please make a donation to or text GIVE to 732-838-9031.  For information, directions, or to leave condolence messages to the family, please visit



4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 14, 2023
Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home
100 Elton-Adelphia Road
Freehold Township, New Jersey, United States

Funeral Mass

9:30 am
Friday, December 15, 2023
St. Veronica Parish
4219 US-9
Howell, New Jersey, United States

Final Resting Place

11:00 am
Friday, December 15, 2023
St. Anne´s Cemetery
1610 Allenwood Road
Wall Township, New Jersey, United States
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Mary Ellen