Mary H. Coleman, a Medfield day care provider who cared for several generations of children, died Saturday of a stroke at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
She was 78.
Mary Hilda Grothe was born in Hampstead and spent her early years in Manchester and Millers before moving to Fawcett Street in Remington with her family.
She attended city public schools until leaving to go to work.
After her 1955 marriage to John C. Coleman Sr., the couple moved to Medfield, where they had lived for more than 50 years.
For more than 20 years, Mrs. Coleman provided day care for Hampden-area children.
"She had several generations of children from the same families," said a daughter, Jackie Castranova of Atlantic Beach, Fla. "She was a very giving and loving person who did not know a stranger."
Mrs. Coleman had been a longtime volunteer at Medfield Heights Elementary School. She also was a a trustee and past president of the women's auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3065 in Hampden.
She enjoyed traveling and entertaining and cooking for family gatherings, Ms. Castranova said.
Mrs. Coleman was a communicant of St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, 1008 W. 37th St., where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to her husband, a retired city homicide detective, and her daughter, Mrs. Coleman is survived by three sons, John C. Coleman Jr. and Joe Coleman, both of Medfield, and Jeff Coleman of Parkville; another daughter, Jo Ann O'Hara of Fallston; three brothers, Alvin Grothe of Scottsville, Va., Carl Grothe of Charlotte, N.C., and Wayne Grothe of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; a sister, Patsy Cotter of Hanover, Pa.; 15 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.