This year the St.Patrick’s Parade Committee has chosen Mary Anne (Sheehan) Dube as the Grand Marshal of the 35th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade.
Born in Worcester to Michael and Mildred Sheehan, Mary Anne is the granddaughter of three Irish immigrants who came to Worcester in the late 1890’s. She is a graduate of St. Stephen’s High School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Worcester State (College)University. She taught elementary school in Worcester and Millbury, retiring in 2004. Currently, Mary Anne is a Program Supervisor at Anna Maria College, mentoring and supervising student teachers through their Practicum.
Having been enthralled by the first St. Patrick’s Parade in Worcester, she and her good friend, Judy Wilkinson, joined the Parade Committee in 1984. As a volunteer she initiated one of the most enjoyable yet exhausting, fund raisers to benefit the Parade Committee, the Dance Marathon. She and many other committee members danced around the clock at the old Irish Club on Millbury Street, raising thousands of dollars to pay for bands for the Parade. Of course, that was then! Very few of our members now could last one hour, much less 24! Ah..to be young again! Shortly after the demise of the Dance Marathon, the concept of the Grand Marshal Dinner was born. First we celebrated at Holy Cross, then at the Sheraton Lincoln, and then at our long-time home, the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Recreation Center, where Mary Anne chaired the event for over ten years. These Award Dinners became the hit of the Irish community in Worcester, where popular Irish dance bands would keep the crowd on the floor until midnight with jigs, reels, and two-steps.
Mary Anne’s other passion is politics. While living in Millbury, she served as Chair of its Democratic Town Committee, and was a member of the Millbury Planning Board. When she moved back to Worcester, she joined the Worcester Democratic City Committee and served as its Vice Chair for several years. She also was appointed to the Worcester Election Commission and served as its chair for two terms. In 2008 she was elected as a member of the Democratic Electoral College, voting for the first black President in the history of our country. For her work on behalf of Democrats, Mary Anne was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in June of this year by the Worcester Democratic City Committee.
She has been a member of the Board of Directors of St. Stephen’s School, where she can share her love of education and children.
Mary Anne is the proud mother of three: Michael Dube of Acton, Maura Peeler of Grafton, and Matthew Dube of Columbia, Missouri. She’s the proud grandmother to four boys: Jamieson and Brendan Dube, and Jon and Liam Peeler.
Being chosen as Grand Marshal of the Parade is an honor she’ll never forget!