Mary Elizabeth Behan Dein passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home on November 15, 2020. Mary was born on March 19, 1920 in Granville, NY to Patrick William Behan and Elizabeth Marie Barrington Behan. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 49 years, Colonel Harry Leonard Dein, MD, her brother Edward Patrick Behan, and her son-in-law LTC David N. Parker, MD.
At age 16, Mary attended nursing school at St. John’s Long Island City Hospital in New York. While working in NYC she met then surgical resident, Harry Dein, at Mount Sinai Hospital. They were married July 11, 1942 at Langley Field, Virginia. Mary was a content military wife as Harry joined the Army, serving in England during World War II and in Korea. She followed Harry to assignments in California, Maryland, South Carolina, New York, Washington, D.C., Georgia, and Orleans, France. They settled in San Antonio, Texas for their final duty station. After building their dream home in Windcrest, Mary and Harry enjoyed playing golf and traveling. They spent their golden years traveling the world, on long visits with Harry’s extended family in Florida, and frequent trips to see their children and expanding family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Widowed in 1991, Mary moved to the Forum at Lincoln Heights in San Antonio, Texas, where she resided for 15 years and made many friends. In 2016, Mary moved to Trinity Towers in Corpus Christi, Texas to be near her daughter, Barbara. She was a faithful Catholic and attended weekly mass at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. When asked, Mary said she wanted to live to be 100 years old, and she did. Her family and anyone who knew her will miss the beautiful woman who was devoted to her faith, marriage, family, and friends. She was known for her smiling Irish eyes, easy laugh, and youthful spirit.
Mary is survived by her four children, Joan Dein Pratt (Joseph) of Warwick, RI, Robert Henry Dein (Cathy) of Edmond, OK, Barbara Dein Parker, Corpus Christi, TX, and John Richard Dein, MD (Nancy Meek) of Sacramento, CA. Mary has ten grandchildren, Michael Joseph Pratt (Erica), Dallas, TX, Deborah Lynn Pratt, Frisco, TX, Stephen John Pratt, PhD, Warwick RI, Kristen Parker Broderick, MD (Stephen) Baltimore, MD, Kevin Paul Parker (Dianna Phillips) San Antonio, TX , Jennifer Dein Lowry (Zachary), Oklahoma City, OK, Laurel Dein Chillingworth (Courtland) Sacramento, CA, David Michael Dein, Sacramento, CA , Michael Patrick Dein, Munich, Germany and Caroline Marie Dein, Sacramento, CA. Mary has 11 great grandchildren: Benjamin Samel, Jamie Samel, Harrison Pratt, Jackson Pratt, Olivia Parker, Caleb Parker, Stephen (Parker) Broderick, Luke Broderick, Ava Lowry, Mila Lowry, and Vivien Chillingworth.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 21 at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. Interment will be at 9:00 a.m. Monday, November 23 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, The National World War II Museum, or the American Red Cross.
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