Obituary of Mary Jane Goudreau
Mary Jane Newton Goudreau, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and educator, passed away peacefully on Friday morning, January 12, 2024. She was 85 at the time of her passing.
Mary Jane is survived by her husband of 62 years, Paul, and daughter Jennifer of Randolph, NJ; son Paul and daughter-in-law Toni Ann Gestone of Berkeley Heights, NJ; son Mark and daughter-in-law Ellen Farrey-Goudreau of Summit, NJ; and son David and daughter-in-law Colleen Patrick-Goudreau of Oakland, CA. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Claire Goudreau of Baltimore, MD, Sylvie Goudreau and Thomas Goudreau of Summit, NJ, and Matthew Parmer and granddaughter-in-law Courtney Morris Parmer of Fountain, CO; sister Margaret Newton Deslaurier and brother-in-law Joseph Deslaurier of Charlestown, RI; and sister-in-law Mary McGann Newton of East Greenwich, RI.
Mary Jane was born on April 5, 1938, in Providence, RI, to Mortimer William Newton and Margaret Mary Newton. She attended St. James Elementary School and West Warwick High School in West Warwick, RI. Mary Jane was an outstanding student and graduated in 1955 with numerous awards and scholarships. She subsequently attended Regis College in Weston, MA. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1959 with a major in mathematics and a minor in physics. She was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she earned a Master in Arts of Teaching (M.A.T.) in 1960. She then began her life-long career as a teacher and educator at Classical High School in Providence, RI.
Mary Jane Newton married Paul Goudreau on August 25, 1962 at St. James Parish in West Warwick, RI. The married couple then moved to West Hartford, CT where Mary Jane taught at Conard High School.
In 1963, the couple moved to Fort Lee, VA, where Paul served in the Army. While living in Virginia, Mary Jane had her first two children, Paul and Mark. Mary Jane resumed her teaching career and served as the chair of the Mathematics and Physics Department at Richard Bland Junior College in Petersburg, VA.
In 1968, the family moved to Massapequa, NY. While living on Long Island, Mary Jane had her children David and Jennifer. At this time, Mary Jane elected to be a stay-at-home mom to raise and care for her large family. She participated in numerous activities involving her children, including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, soccer, baseball, swimming and dancing lessons. Mary Jane was also very involved in the family’s local church, St. Martin of Tours in Amityville, NY. She organized the CCD program, taught CCD classes, and oversaw the Christmas pageants.
In 1984, the family moved to Randolph, NJ, to accommodate a position change for Paul. Mary Jane continued in her role as a stay-at-home mom while her children were small, before returning to teaching as a mathematics instructor at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Convent Station, NJ. Subsequently, Mary Jane was appointed chair of the Mathematics Department at the Academy of Saint Elizabeth. One of her greatest joys in life was teaching the young women of the Academy and the College.
Mary Jane retired from teaching in 2000. She turned her focus to being a grandmother to her grandchildren, another source of tremendous joy to her. She very much loved spending time with, being with, and looking after her grandchildren.
Mary Jane was very involved in her local Catholic church, Resurrection Parish in Randolph, NJ. Mary Jane was a founding member of the church and very involved in the Samaritans program -- organizing drives for babies, back-to-school and Thanksgiving, and playing the role of Mrs. Santa Claus at Christmas. Mary Jane also served as a long-time lector during church services.
Mary Jane was an active member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) beginning in Massapequa, NY, Chapter F. She continued for the rest of her life with Chapter H, Morristown, NJ. The P.E.O. helps women to achieve their goals and advance their education, missions that were important to Mary Jane. She took on many roles, including chapter president, vice-president, and treasurer, and she led chapter projects devoted to women's education. She was loved by all of her sisters.
In retirement, Mary Jane focused on traveling with her husband. They traveled frequently to the UK, France, Italy, and Florida and took cruises in the Caribbean, the Alaska coast, Greece and Turkey, and the Baltic Sea including stops in Copenhagen and St. Petersburg. They frequently visited Rhode Island to spend time with family and friends, especially during summers and holidays.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, January 18, 2024 from 10AM to 11AM at Resurrection Parish, 651 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, NJ. The Mass will follow at 11AM, also at the church. Interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, NJ.
In lieu of sending flowers in memoriam, the family requests that fellow mourners make a contribution to the Regis College Office of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations in the name of the Class of 1959.
In Loving Memory
1938 - 2024
Phone: 973 366-7400