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Maria Ortiz Laird, 103, of Salem, NH passed away on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at her home. Born on December 11, 1914, in Uruguay, Maria Ortiz was one of 14 children, the daughter of a prominent farmer; she lost her mother at an early age. In her 20s, Maria was swept off her feet and later married U.S. Merchant Marine Frederick Laird who was stationed in Brazil at the time. They married and together moved to the states in the early 1940s. They settled in Lawrence, Mass., had five children together, and eventually landed for good in Salem in the mid-1960s.
The matriarch of the family, she had 15 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren. She loved spending time with loved ones, tending to her home, and even making occasional trips to Foxwoods with family. She’s held many jobs and, at times, worked virtually all hours that she wasn’t taking care of family. She worked as a fabric spinner in the Malden Mills in Lawrence, Mass., cleaned the rectory at St. Matthews Parish in Windham, and, for years, cleaned at Interstate Gymnastics in Methuen, Mass., up until she was 95!
Maria is survived by her daughters, Maria DeFrancesco and her husband Richard of Methuen, Arline Laird Murray and her husband Michael of Salem, NH; her son Michael Laird and his wife Beverly of South Lawrence; her daughter-in-law Diane Laird of Bedford, NH, as well as several nieces and nephews. Maria was predeceased by her husband Frederick Laird, her son William Laird, and her daughter Cheryl Laird.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a hospice agency of the donor’s choice. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at the Dewhirst & Boles Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844. A funeral Mass will be offered at 11:00 AM on Friday, August 3rd at St. Monica Parish, 212 Lawrence Street, Methuen. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s cemetery in Lawrence. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.dewhirstbolesfuneral.com