Mary Claire (Creehan) Richardson of Belmont. Dec. 31, 2021. Beloved wife of Stanley Edward Leven. Loving mother of Christopher Murphy of Washington, D.C., Jessie Richardson of Sacramento, California, and Matthew Leven of Brooklyn, New York. Doting grandmother of Aidan Kohn-Murphy and Caleb Murphy also of Washington, D.C. Mary was predeceased by her brothers, Dennis Creehan of Arlington and Dr. Patrick Creehan of Fair Oaks, California.
Born in Lawrence, Kansas to U.S. Navy Officer Ed Creehan and Mary Rita Creehan, Mary was raised in San Mateo, California and went on to attend Santa Clara University. After earning her Masters in Communication she launched her journalism career at KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California first as a reporter and eventually as the station’s lead co-anchor.
In 1978 she was recruited to Boston at WNAC-TV where she broke ground as the city’s first female anchor of the 5pm and 11pm newscasts and became one of New England’s most popular journalists.
Mary joined WCVB-TV in 1980 as a news reporter and anchor and also hosted the weekly public affairs program, “Five on Five.” A committed journalist, she covered dozens of state and national political campaigns and moderated numerous political debates. In 1984, Mary became co-anchor of the station’s award-winning “Chronicle,” the longest running local nightly news magazine program in the country. During her time as co-anchor, Chronicle received two prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards and many national Gabriel Awards and regional Emmys.
Mary’s story-telling took her all over New England, and around the globe - including Ireland, Cuba, China, Egypt, and Greece. She interviewed politicians, celebrities, and star athletes - including the likes of Tip O’Neill, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Child, George Lucas, Meryl Streep, and Paul Pierce - but Mary’s real love was bringing the stories of everyday New Englanders to her audience. She was a fearless adventurer and would do anything to tell a story - even learning to scuba dive just so she could swim with dolphins in the Bahamas. Mary was also the long-time host of “Pop Goes the Fourth!” Boston’s July 4th celebration on the Hatch Shell which was broadcast nationally.
Among her many honors, in 2010 Mary received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the first-ever Tim Russert Award from Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, an organization she championed for many years. In 2011, she was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. She also volunteered with Horizons for Homeless Children and supported the Catholic Schools Foundation Inner-City Scholarship Fund and the New England Province of Jesuits.
At heart, Mary was a journalist and a natural storyteller. Her keen intellect and insatiable curiosity drove her to get to the bottom of interesting stories and find ways to share them with her audience. And her down to earth demeanor helped her connect with everyone she interviewed.
But she was also a devoted and doting mother to her three children Chris, Jessie and Matt. She rarely missed an important event in their lives and always placed the importance of family above all else. Mary also shared a special relationship with her two grandchildren Aidan and Caleb, who so admired and looked up to her.
Mary’s family would like to say a special thank you to the countless friends and family who never left our side during this Alzheimer’s journey. We will forever be grateful. Guiding Mary in the final few months, the support from the hospice team at Care Dimensions was a godsend. And we extend very special gratitude to the extraordinary staff of Mary’s memory care home, Avita of Needham. The love, kindness and humor you displayed in Mary’s care is a debt we can never fully repay.
Due to Covid 19 precautions, Mary's funeral services will be private. Donations may be made in her memory to the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless (780 Albany St, Boston, MA, 02118) or the Alzheimer's Association (309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA, 02452).