Greenwich Legend Boo Durkin (November 11, 1940-June 11, 2020)
Mary “Boo” Elizabeth Durkin Federman was born Greenwich on November 11, 1940 to parents Mary Elizabeth Dietrich and Charles Durkin. Boo grew up in Greenwich, chose to raise her children there, and proudly remained a lifelong resident of the town.
Always a lover of animals, little Boo and her family kept an impressive menagerie– including beloved dogs, cats, turtles, and a duck named Georgie Porgie (whom she would walk down the street on a leash).
Boo was also a lover of music, and was lucky to come of age in the Rock and Roll era. In her teens and twenties she frequented many historic rock concerts, including Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper at New York’s Apollo Theater. Her love for music lasted throughout her life, and she instilled this love in her children; Boo’s house was rarely without music playing, and she attended live concerts whenever possible.
In the early 1960s, Boo attended the University of Connecticut at Storrs, and spent some of her favorite college summers on Cape Cod.
Boo as a matter of course always thought of others above herself. She made herself available to friends and anyone in need. Boo was loyal to her friends beyond recognition, and not a day went by without her putting the needs of everyone she loved above her own.
One of her greatest passions was charitable work, to which she dedicated her entire life. Over the years she was instrumental in running many large non-profit events including (to name just a few) Great Chefs for Greenwich Hospital, an epic carnival in Havemeyer Park to benefit The Mews senior home, summer pops concerts in Roger Sherman Park with the Greenwich Arts Council, the Taste of the Nation benefit to fight hunger, annual benefits for the prisoner rehabilitation group Family Re-Entry, and the annual 4th of July Celebration at Greenwich Town Hall. Boo also spent many years as AARP chapter president in Greenwich. She also spent countless hours volunteering at local non-profits, which (among many others) include Greenwich Health Department, Greenwich Historical Society, League of Women Voters, and Arch Street Teen Center.
Because of all she has done for the Greenwich community on so many levels, on her 75th birthday Boo became one of a scant few people to have a Town of Greenwich proclamation and day named for her.
Never afraid to speak her mind, Boo fought tirelessly to improve the world’s status quo. She cared deeply about many causes, but one especially important to her was patient safety in hospitals.
Boo was also very passionate about politics, from the local to national level. Over the years she was an instrumental part of many political campaigns, and because of her candor and insight, many elected officials regularly sought her council.
In 2014 Boo was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Undeterred, and in spite of regular cancer treatments, she continued to enjoy life to the fullest, volunteering regularly for many good causes, enjoying the company of her friends, and even taking care of both of her beautiful granddaughters. Boo made a point to enjoy every second of life she could, and had no intention of going anywhere soon.
Ultimately it was not cancer that caused her death, but a series of highly preventable doctor errors, and the inability to get adequate care due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Boo is survived by her three children: Todd Federman, Dawn Federman Marshall (married to Patrick Marshall) and Kimberly (Manulik) Livingston (married to Thomas Livingston); four grandchildren: Charlotte, Isabelle, Nick and Brandy, as well as countless other ‘adopted’ sons and daughters, and friends who were as close as family. She was predeceased by her husband Dr. Quentin Federman.
Boo Durkin was undeniably a pillar of the Greenwich Community. She brought so much joy and happiness into the world, especially into all of the lives she touched. Anyone who knew her would describe her as kind, gentle, wildly funny, giving, smart, tenacious, fiercely loyal, authentic, loving, joyful, and inspirational– to say the least. Boo will live on in the hearts of everyone who was lucky enough to know her. May her enormous kindness, boldness and strength always continue to inspire others.
A wake will be held on Monday June 22nd from 2-6:00 pm at Coxe and Graziano Funeral Home, 134 Hamilton Ave., Greenwich. A private burial will be held at First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich.