Mary Runner November 2, 1933 - November 12, 2023

Date of Funeral

November 20, 2023

Mary Runner (nee Hilferty), 90 years old, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on November 12, 2023. Mary was a longtime resident of both Chester, PA and Swarthmore, PA. Loving daughter of the late James and Marie McGehean Hilferty. Beloved wife of 60 years to the late Richard Runner, dear sister of Anne Cooper, and the late James, William, Francis and Edward Hilferty, dear sister-in-law of Maureen Hilferty and Dolores Hilferty. Devoted mother to her four daughters: Rosemarie DePaola (Wade), MaryAnn DeCostanza (Bill), Jennifer Rowdon (Bryan) and Christine Runner (Tony) and her “fifth daughter”, Dawn Cates. Mary was a doting Mom Mom to her wonderful grandchildren: Diane Shotwell (Michael), John DeCostanza (Arwen), Gina DeCostanza, Timothy Rowdon and Christina Lyons. Mary adored her five great-grandchildren: Joanna DeCostanza, Hayden Shotwell, Cameron Shotwell, Carter Shotwell and Blaze DeCostanza. Her pride and joy and best friend was her lovable and loyal “fur baby”, Sadie.

Mary was a career crossing guard having over fifty years of experience starting with the Chester-Upland School District and then Ridley Township School District. She spent over thirty-years crossing children at Milmont and Seventh Avenues in Swarthmore and was loved by both parents and children alike, handing out candy to all the kids. She crossed many generations of children and their children as well. Former students would run into Mary years later and share their fond memories with her.

Mary was an avid Philadelphia sports fan and would always have the current stats on the top players and teams. She used to drive her children and their friends to Veteran’s Stadium for the Phillies games. In later years, her family took her to Citizen’s Bank Park for the games, as recently as June 10, 2023. What a shame the Phillies didn’t make it to the World Series for her this year.

Mary’s greatest hobby was being a die-hard bingo player and would staunchly attend Briarcliffe Athletic Association for Saturday night bingo. She made wonderful friends there and thoroughly enjoyed the game, especially when she won. Mary loved watching and betting on the sulkies at Harrah’s in Chester, and was also known to pop inside for some slot time as well.

Mary was a faithful parishioner of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Eddystone for many years. She was the kindest; most loving and selfless person and was always ready to help someone else in their time of need. She gave the best hugs ever and gave them freely to anyone who needed one.

Mary will be greatly missed by her family and friends. As Mary was a lover of all things fluffy and furry, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Tiny Paws Rescue at https://www.tprescue.org or Rags 2 Riches Animal Rescue in Aston at https://rags2richesrescue.org .

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass/Celebration of Life on Monday (November 20, 2023) at St. Rose of Lima, 1901 Chester Pike, Eddystone, PA 19022. Visitation will be 10:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by Mass. Burial at East Lawn Cemetery, Swarthmore, PA. Online condolences can be sent via www.batemanallenfuneralhome.com



  1. REPLY
    Matt Bailey says

    To Dawn and all of the Runner family, I send my prayers and sincerest condolences in this time of sorrow.

  2. REPLY
    Kate and Kevin Silberstein says

    We are sending all our love to all who loved Mrs. Runner. She was the best hugger and will be missed dearly. May she be resting happily with Mr. Runner and Sadie.

Leave a Condolence