The St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke announced that its 71st Grand Marshal is Mary M. Lynch, Holyoke-native and 34-year member of the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke. The Grand Marshal is the highest local honor given to a person who has distinguished themselves as a loyal person to their career, their family, and to their Irish ancestry.

Mary has been married to John “Art” Lynch for 49 years, and they are the proud parents of Mary Ellen and her husband Nicholas Pappas of Newport, RI, and Maureen and her husband James Tisdell of Holyoke, MA. Her most cherished role is that of Nana to Emma, Jack, Patrick and Liam Tisdell. Mary and her 10 siblings grew up on Linden Street in Holyoke to the late Raymond and Mary Feyre. She owes her love and appreciation of her Irish heritage to her Mother and is blessed to have traveled to Ireland numerous times with her mother, siblings, children and nieces.

She is a graduate of Holyoke Catholic High School, Holyoke Community College and Westfield State College where she earned her B.S. and M.Ed. degrees in Education. She retired in 2017 as the long-time Professor of Early Childhood Education at Holyoke Community College. Mary also served on several Boards including the Greater Holyoke YMCA and the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England. She was honored in 2010 with the “Oldershaw Award” from the Greater Holyoke YMCA which is the highest honor given to an individual who has made significant volunteer contributions to the greater Holyoke community.

“Auntie Mary” as she’s known to many on the Committee, has held many important roles, including as chair of the JFK and Memorial Mass, Grand Marshal’s Reception, Coronation Ball, and Awards Dinner. She has also served on the Program Book and Tartan committees, Parade Coordination and the Board of Directors. Many of her Committee friends laud her for her leadership “in the lot” as she manages the hundreds of vehicles that enter the parking lot on Parade morning. The Parade literally could not start without “Auntie Mary’s direction” for she is responsible for announcing the arriving bands, marching units, and dignitaries into Parade Coordination. She was honored with the Rohan Award in 1996 and was a member of the Grand Colleen Court in 1970.

Mary and her twin brother, Ray Feyre, also have the distinction of being the only set of twins to serve as Grand Marshal of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade. Ray led the Parade in 2015.

“Mary Lynch is most deserving of this esteemed honor” said Hayley Dunn, Parade President. “Not only has she served on nearly every subcommittee, but she has held several leadership roles and is instrumental in the overall success of the Parade. Her calm and friendly demeanor has welcomed many new members and all look to her guidance each Parade weekend. Mary’s love of heritage, family, education and community makes her the perfect choice for Grand Marshal. I am thrilled to have Mary Feyre Lynch lead the 71st Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade on March 17, 2024.”

Mary M. Lynch will be honored at the Grand Marshal’s Reception on Friday, January 12th, 2024 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. For more details or to purchase tickets to the reception, please contact Jane Chevalier ( or Barb Rogers (

The 71st Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade will be held on Sunday, March 17th, 2024 and the 47th St. Patrick’s Road Race will be held on Saturday, March 16th, 2024. For more information, please visit our website at

By Published On: August 12, 2023Categories: Speaking of Women

About the Author: Dee Ferrero

Ms. Ferrero is the CEO of Western Mass Women Magazine as well as the founder of several women's mentor and advocacy groups along the east coast.

Share This Story!


Explore the Western Mass Women Magazine!


Recent Articles