byFather Robert M. O’Grady
Southie honors Margaret “Midge” Darling. Our late colleague, former Pilot staffer, Midge Darling was honored with the “Father A. Paul White Award for the Woman of the Year” at the Annual Gate of Heaven CYO Awards Dinner at Anthony’s Pier 4 in Boston on Feb. 23, 2008. At the presentation were (L to R) State Senator Jack Hart; Midge; ‘‘Touchie’’ McDonough; Father Robert Casey, pastor of Gate of Heaven Parish and of St. Brigid Parish; Father Benjamin LeTran, parochial vicar at the South Boston parishes; and Boston City Councilor William Linehan. Photo courtesy/Barbara Kelley, South Boston On Line
Described variously as “a gem” by a former Pilot co-worker; “a loyal friend” by many in South Boston; “a woman of faith” by her long-time friend, Father Kevin Toomey of St. Raphael, Medford and as a “genuinely good person” by virtually all who knew her; Margaret “Midge” Darling died at Marian Manor in South Boston on April 30 following an extended battle with cancer.
A native of Canton who was raised at St. John the Evangelist Parish there, Midge did her utmost to hide her suburban roots and proclaimed her “real identity” as a Bostonian, more specifically a South Bostonian, and even more particularly from “Gatey” as those from the towering parish of Gate of Heaven, South Boston usually refer to it.
A widow with no children of her own, she had more “kids” than any family from her decades of service to Gate of Heaven CYO and her hours of availability always lending a listening ear.
She had been employed at Pitney Bowes and when she retired came to work for The Pilot assisting in the management of subscriptions and other aspects of the business department. Her real job seemed always to keep former Pilot editor Msgr. Peter Conley on his toes, greeting him with another Father Paul White (also a previous Pilot editor) pun or quote.
Midge had a host of friends, and she knew and genuinely loved (and we all knew, prayed for) her many priest friends. She never let you off the hook and she could banter and trade stories (and barbs!) with the most seasoned. And she could talk! You would tire of it, but precisely because she was interesting and interested you wanted to listen, but sometimes you simply had to kind of separate from the scene. Once you were her audience, you were stuck -- gladly, unless you had to work!
She was never fond of attention, except perhaps from “her kids” at Gatey. She made an exception recently when on Feb. 23 she was given the Father A. Paul White Award as Woman of the Year Award from the Gate of Heaven CYO.
Midge’s Funeral Mass was celebrated on May 5 at her beloved Gate of Heaven Parish. Its pastor, Father Robert Casey was the principal celebrant; Father Kevin Toomey, pastor of St. Raphael, Medford onetime parochial vicar at Gate of Heaven and friend of more than 30 years, was the homilist.
Joining them as concelebrants were Father Daniel Sheehan, senior priest in Residence at St. Brigid, South Boston; Father John McGinty, staff at Boston College, also a former parochial vicar at Gate of Heaven; and Father Robert O’Grady, staff of The Pilot.
Friends joined family at the Mass in the splendid Gate of Heaven Church. Midge was predeceased by her husband, Frederick and her sister, Anne Nasuti and her brother, Thomas Gallagher. Following the funeral Mass, Midge was buried in New Calvary Cemetery, Mattapan.