Around New England

Wife of Former Massachusetts Senate President Dies

June 17, 2020

The wife of retired Massachusetts politician William Bulger has died.

Mary Bulger, 84, died Sunday, June 7, 2020 at her home in South Boston, according to a death notice published in The Boston Globe.

Mrs. Bulger features prominently in former state Senator William Bulger’s 1996 memoir While the Music Lasts:  My Life in Politics.

“Her infectious good humor was a tonic, but she also had the rare gift of being able to share silence happily when that was the most supportive thing to do,” Mr. Bulger wrote.

William Bulger, now 86, served as president of the Massachusetts Senate from 1978 to 1996 and president of the University of Massachusetts from 1996 to 2003.

Born Mary Foley, Mrs. Bulger grew up in South Boston, the daughter of immigrants from County Galway in Ireland. She and her future husband met on a neighborhood boat excursion of young people from South Boston to Provincetown, according to her husband’s memoir.

The Bulgers have nine children and 33 grandchildren, according to the death notice.

A funeral Mass was celebrated privately because of the coronavirus emergency, according to the death notice.