On September 27th, just two days after her 81st birthday, Maryalice (McTague) Ennis passed away peacefully after valiantly battling liver cancer. On August 31, 2022, Maryalice and her husband Michael celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. She is survived by Michael and her four children, Kendra and her husband Aaron Davenport and their children, Tatum, Payton and Aelish; Kevin and his wife Karen and their children Aidan, Maeve, and Ryan; Mary Fran and her husband Stephen Pincher and their son Braedon, and Brendan and his wife Lisa and their children Liam, Owen, Rory, and Sean.

Maryalice was born in Newark, New Jersey and raised on the Jersey Shore, where she developed a lifelong love of the beach and ocean. She attended Seton Hall University and was an elementary school teacher before marrying Michael and going on to become a devoted stay-at-home mom and a wonderful homemaker. Michael attended Officer Candidate School in Newport and received his commission in 1963. His Navy career spanned twenty years, during which Maryalice dedicated herself to raising their four children, often as a single parent during many months of deployment separation. Michael’s career took the family from Key West, Florida, to Newport multiple times throughout his tenure, and to Charleston, South Carolina, and Groton, Connecticut. Soon after retiring from the Navy, Mike began a second career with General Dynamics, which brought them back in 1987, to their beloved Rhode Island, where they settled permanently in Middletown.

Once their children were grown, Maryalice served as a docent at Hammersmith Farm for several years, which afforded her the time and latitude to care for her grandchildren and support her family in many loving ways. Her family was the center of Maryalice’s universe, and she was happiest in their company. The nucleus of the Ennis family, Maryalice delighted in hosting family dinners, spending long days at Second Beach together with her children and grandchildren and attending their births, baptisms, first communion and confirmation sacraments, as well as their soccer, basketball and other sporting events and graduation ceremonies. Known to them as Grand Mary, Maryalice cherished watching her grandchildren grow. Their achievements were a source of immense pride and happiness for her.

Maryalice was a very good cook, but she loved to make pies and her specialty was apple. It was not uncommon for her to make pies for family friends, her doctors, her priest, and anyone she appreciated or admired. She also enjoyed swimming and walking, and she loved to travel and spent winter months in Florida with Michael. They were snowbirds and stayed in many coastal towns there over the years, but they came to love Naples best. Maryalice loved dogs of all breeds and she owned and adored several dogs over the years including English Bulldogs, a Clumber Spaniel, and a Springer Spaniel. Her all-time favorite dog was a Standard Poodle she adopted named Moet but called “Mo.” She was also an avid reader who voraciously consumed novels and read multiple newspapers a day for years. One of her most favorite things to do was spending Sundays devouring the New York Times after attending mass at St. Mary’s. She loved decorating and flowers and she delighted in creating seasonal floral arrangements, which she frequently gave as gifts. She was also a great lover of music and her eclectic musical preferences ranged from Frank Sinatra to Lyle Lovett.

Described as a “one of a kind” by friends and family members, Maryalice lived life fully and she is remembered by her family for being incredibly generous and thoughtful – never missing a birthday and always finding a way to recognize a special occasion with special gifts and tokens of her affection. She was equally benevolent with strangers and took great joy in performing random acts of kindness. By her own account, Maryalice was defined by both her Irish heritage and her Roman Catholic faith, which she exercised with devotion throughout her life. Hers was a life well lived and her legacy lives on in her husband of 59 years, her children, and grandchildren, and in the many wonderful memories they cherish of the love and the laughter they shared with her as wife, mother, and Grand Mary.

Visitation will be held Saturday, October 8, 2022, at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840 from 9AM-10AM, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 12 William Street, Newport, RI 02840 at 10:30AM.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hope Health, which provided caring hospice services they found incredibly helpful in Maryalice’s final days. https://www.hopehealthco.org/ways-to-give/donatenow/

Memorial Funeral Home

This obituary was originally published by Memorial Funeral Home on www.memorialfuneralhome.com. It has been republished here with permission and at no cost.