Mary Josephine Hannon

Last Updated: December 6, 2012

(1865 – 1964) Mary Josephine “Josie” Hannon was the wife of John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, the mother of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Mary Josephine Hannon was born on October 31, 1865 in Acton, Massachusetts to Irish immigrants Michael Hannon (1832–1900) and Mary Ann Fitzgerald (1834–1904), both fromCounty Limerick.

She was the sixth of nine children, only six of whom survived past childhood. One brother, Edmund (1859–1865), died of fever at the age of six, while Josie’s mother was pregnant with her; another, John (1855–1861), had died of a lung inflammation four years earlier.

Two brothers, Michael (1860–1881) and James (1863–1889), died early of alcoholism, while her youngest brother, John Edmund (1877–1951), had his leg crushed by a train at age thirteen.

The youngest girl, Lizzie (1869–1873), drowned with her best friend while Josie was supposed to be caring for them, an event that would mark her and her two surviving sisters, Ellen Augusta (1857–1928) and Emily (1867–1931), for the rest of their lives.

On September 18, 1889, she married John Fitzgerald, her second cousin.

Mary Josephine Fitzgerald died on August 8, 1964, at the age of 98 years and 9 months.

Her death came less than a year after the assassination of her grandson, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Family members claimed she was never told of his death.

As of 2012, she is the only person who has lived to see a grandchild become president of the United States.

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