Mary Purcell Roche died at her Painted Post home with her children by her side.

Mary Purcell Roche died at her Painted Post home with her children by her side.
Mary Purcell, the daughter of Marie and Philip Purcell, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 11, 1917. Her family then relocated to Corning. She graduated from Corning Free Academy in 1935, received her B.S. degree from Nazareth College in 1939 and her M.S. degree in Biochemistry from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. in 1940.
Mary Roche was a true pioneer. She was the first female research scientist hired by Corning Glass, now Corning, Inc. and was a contributor on numerous patents. She shared her love of math and science by teaching at Bradford Central School from 1958 – 1961. In 1962, she was hired as an instructor at Corning Community College and retired as a professor of Chemistry in 1982.
Mary married Robert (Bob) Roche at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Corning in 1946. She raised a family of five children and was active in community activities while pursuing her career.
Mary played tennis into her 70's and golf into her 80's and enjoyed following her favorite sports. She loved international travel, especially with her sister-in-law and dear friend, Sally Purcell. Together, they had an opportunity to see much of the world. She was an avid duplicate bridge player and thoroughly enjoyed her martinis and “vino.” Mary's other interests included tending her flower garden, feeding the birds, doing crossword puzzles and keeping up with political and world events on her computer. She spent many evenings watching classic films with son John and her extended family gathered around her each Christmas and summer at the home of her son, Phil and his wife, Brenda.
Mary Purcell Roche was a mentor to many; a friend to more; and a source of inspiration to all. She will be deeply missed.
She was predeceased by her husband of 30 years, Bob Roche; her sisters, Helen Brennan and Joan O'Connor; and her brother, Philip Purcell. She is survived by her five children, Michele (Vince) Marinera of Harwich, MA and Venice, FL, John (Charlotte Whisner) Roche of Rochester, NY, Robert (Christine) Roche of Wyckoff, NJ and Venice, FL, Ellen (Mark Yecies) Roche of Bethesda, MD and Sarasota, FL and Philip (Brenda) Roche of Painted Post, NY; her eight grandchildren, Erin Roche, Rob Roche, Kate Roche, Sharon Yecies, Joanne Yecies, Michael Roche, Jennifer Roche and Becky Roche; and her life-long friend, Alice Hickey.
Friends may call from 5-7 p.m. Friday, September 2 at Haughey Funeral Home, 216 E. First St., Corning, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 3 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Painted Post, NY, followed by committal prayers and interment in the family plot at St. Mary's Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Mary's name to All Saint's Academy, 158 State St., Corning, NY 14830.