Mary A. LaPlante
NORTH PROVIDENCE - Mary A. LaPlante (Harkness), 59, longtime resident of North Providence, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 10th at The Village at Waterman Lake, after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. She was the wife of the late Robert J. A. LaPlante, who predeceased her in 1984. Mary was the daughter, and best friend of Teresa J. Harkness and the late Normand L. Harkness, Sr. of Lincoln. She was an RN for the City of Cranston Family Planning and WIC Program for many years before her affliction caused an early retirement.
She is survived by and was the proud mother of two daughters, Stephanie and Kimberly. The oldest, Stephanie Harrison resides in Centennial, Colorado with her husband Christopher and their children Hunter and Oceannah. Stephanie followed her mom into nursing and is the Burn and Trauma Program Manager at Children's Hospital of Colorado. The youngest, her eternal buddy Kimberly, though developmentally disabled, lived at home for many years with Mary until moving to the ARC of Blackstone Valley in Pawtucket, just a few short years ago.
Mary is also survived by her siblings, Normand L. Harkness Jr. and his wife Barbara, of Esmond; Paul Harkness and his wife Deborah, of Lincoln; Elizabeth Pryor and her husband Joel, of Daytona Beach, FL; William Harkness of Mount Pleasant, SC; and her "baby brother" Christopher Harkness and his wife Michelle, of North Scituate.
While she had many nieces and nephews, she would often be found in the company of her niece Kristen Boulay of Pascoag, and her son (and Mary's great nephew) Liam, or she would be with her brother's family in North Scituate, playing the Wii with Alexandra, Thomas, Samantha and Daniela. But, her favorite pastime of all was playing blackjack at Foxwoods Casino. She enjoyed gambling with her mother and her beloved Aunt, and Winter Mom, Ann Johnston, or playing cards at her kitchen table. She was an avid New England sports fan, whom enjoyed taunting a Red Sox victory over her Yankee rooting mom and siblings.
Mary graduate from Lincoln High School in 1972. She was a 1983 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Rhode Island College, receiving a double major in Psychology and Nursing. She also went on to study Criminology at Roger Williams College in the 1980s.
For 20+ years she courageously battled the debilitation of MS as it slowly and steadily took her liberties and capabilities away, prompting Mary to donate her body to The Brown University Medical School, with hopes that they may use it to help find a cure or better understand the disease.
There will be no wake, but, the Reverend Father Bernard Lavin, Pastor of St. Jude's Church and longtime family friend will preside at a Memorial Mass to be held at St. Jude's Church, 301 Front St., in Lincoln, on Saturday, November 16th at 11am.
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