Sarah J. O’Maley


It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Sarah J. O’Maley, 81, “Sally” to all who knew her, the loving wife of Lawrence E. O’Maley, of Choate Street, Essex.

Sally was the adored and only daughter of the late James E. and Helen M. McCarthy.  She spent her younger years in Wenham before the family moved to Dolliver’s Neck in Gloucester.  It was in Gloucester that at the age of fourteen, she met the love of her life and husband of sixty-three years, Larry O’Maley.  Sally and Larry and their young family settled in Essex and became well-known members of the community.

Talented and creative, Sally passionately reported the news and happenings of the town of Essex for the Gloucester Daily Times for twenty-seven years.  During those years, there wasn’t a town meeting, Essex Elementary School event, Easter egg hunt, baseball game, or any other town event, when you didn’t see her with her camera and an old-school reporter’s notebook.  Every evening after putting her kids to bed, she would work well into the early morning hours typing her stories on an electric typewriter.  This allowed her to be an amazing mother first and a reporter second. 

When she was lured away from the Times to become the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Topsfield Fair, she found a new passion for sharing the many stories of the Fair as well as being involved with all of the events and vendors.  She loved her many years at the Fair with Larry right by her side volunteering.

As faithful parishioners of Saint John the Baptist Church in Essex, Sally and Larry worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support the church.  In recognition of their commitment to their faith and to their service to the parish, they were honored to be awarded Cheverus Award medals by the Archdiocese of Boston in 2013. 

Sally sat as an associate on the Board of Trustees for Beverly Hospital and during her many years at the Fair, she was very involved with the North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.  She was also an active member of the Essex Agricultural Society. 

​She and Larry loved to travel to Nova Scotia, eat lobster on the coast of Maine, and head “Down the Cape” to walk the beach and collect seashells.  One of her greatest joys was the trip she and Larry took to Ireland. Sally loved her family, animals, flowers, a good mystery novel, being Irish, collecting seashells, and going barefoot. Her passing leaves a huge hole in our hearts. She will be so missed by her family and all who knew and loved her. 

In addition to her loving husband, Larry, she is survived by her three children, Daniel L. O’Maley and his wife Patricia of Rockport, Katherine J. O’Maley and her fiancé Bruce S. Goodnow of Newburyport, Patricia M. Byrne and her husband John of Essex and her beloved two grandchildren, Patrick J. Byrne of Cambridge and Delaney M. Byrne of Cambridge.  She also leaves sisters-in-laws Nancy Powers, Linda King and Lois Dermody as well as many much-loved cousins, nieces, and nephews. In addition to her parents, Sally was predeceased by her brother, John McCarthy and his wife Helen, her brother, Charles McCarthy and his wife Evelyn; her in-laws, Edward and Linda O’Maley and brothers-in-law, Francis Dermody and Everett Powers. 

Her funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 1 graveside in the Spring Street Cemetery, Essex.  For everyone’s safety, the family asks that masks be worn and that we all adhere to social distancing.  There will be a Funeral Mass held at Saint John the Baptist Church in Essex at a later date.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Regina Cleri Residence, 60 William Cardinal O’Connell Parkway, Boston MA 02114, or to the American Heart Association, 300 5th Avenue, Suite 6, Waltham MA 02451.  Arrangements by the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home in Ipswich.  To send a condolence to her family, please visit

the gloucester daily times, francis dermody, patricia m. byrne, patrick j. byrne, lois dermody, boston convention and visitors bureau,, delaney m. byrne, helen m. mccarthy, charles mccarthy, john mccarthy, spring street cemetery, essex elementary school, nancy powers, bruce s. goodnow, essex agricultural society