Maire “Molly” Kearney Wagner
Maire (pronounced Moy-rah) “Molly” Kearney Wagner, RN of Southern Pines, NC, died on December 5th at FirstHealth Hospice in Pinehurst, NC. Before she lost her battle with cancer, Molly lived with no regrets and packed a lifetime of love and adventure into her 53 trips around the sun.
Born 4/18/64 in Dublin, Ireland, Molly is the beloved daughter of John R. Kearney, MD of Gloversville, NY, and Anne Martin Kearney of Whispering Pines, NC, both of whom survive her. In 2001, Molly met Daniel E. Wagner — US Army. The following year, they wed in NYC as an homage to the September 11 tragedy. Molly and Dan managed to condense a whole lot of living and loving into their marriage. Dan (now retired from the Army) and their daughter, Sarah, a student at UNC- Wilmington, NC, survive.
Other living family include her older sister, Kathryn “Kerry” Kearney Van Roosen (Major General Hugh Van Roosen — US Army), of Whispering Pines, brother, John “Jack” M. Kearney (Sarah Bowen Shea) of Portland, OR, brother, Christopher Q. Kearney of Whispering Pines, and half-sister Claire Kearney of Albany, NY. Molly also leaves a wonderful assortment of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, the latter of which refer to her as “Auntie Mingo” or “Mol-ney”.
Molly was raised in upstate NY, graduating from Gloversville HS in 1982. She was a talented artist loving everything from drawing and painting to pottery, as well as gardening and the Art of Life itself. She was also quite the athlete (dance, gymnastics – she could jump in the air and do two full rotations before hitting the ground, swimming, snorkeling, and sailing). Her favorite sport was skiing and started at age 8 with the Royal Mt. Junior racing team. She later competed for GHS in the Empire State Games at Lake Placid, and had her bib retired by Royal Mt.’s Velcro Lounge. Molly also became a ski instructor at Killington Ski Resort in VT and has been part of a local dart league for the past 9 years.
Molly found her true passion in the nursing program at Fulton-Montgomery CC in Johnstown, NY. After receiving her RN, she moved to NC and pursued a 20-plus-year career as a nurse, the last 18 years were spent at Womack Army Medical Center at Ft. Bragg. Molly was an unwavering advocate for her patients and colleagues, earning the love and admiration of both. During her career, she surrounded herself with a crew of like-minded nurses (known as the Nurse Mafia or Moll-fia), all of whom helped her family make sure she left this earth feeling the love and support of everyone who knew her. She will be sorely missed by all for her bright mind, quick wit, unfailing generosity, and sense of caring for others.
More reasons we’ll really miss Molly: She was the life of the party and lit up every room she entered, poor grammar was something with which she would not put up, her brilliant red hair was matched only by her fiery personality, she never met a hat she didn’t like or a Scrabble opponent she couldn’t beat, she loved giving nicknames and you knew you were on her good side if she used them. She loved visiting Saratoga Springs for the track, concerts at SPAC, and the merriment of Caroline Street. Her southern Saratoga was Charleston, SC, where she loved to shop and eat at the myriad of restaurants the gracious town offers.
A Memorial Service is being planned for her at the convenience of the family sometime at the end of January.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Molly’s memory will be used to set up a Nursing Scholarship at her alma mater Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Checks should be written out to the FM Foundation with Molly Wagner in the memo line. Please send to: FM Foundation, 2805 State Highway 67, Johnstown, NY 12095.
Arrangements have been made by Powell Funeral Home and Crematory in Southern Pines, NC.