Obituary: Bess (Kraly) MacNeille Hartley, 93

Bess (Kraly) MacNeille Hartley, 93, of Southborough, passed away peacefully on Monday, February 7, 2022 at the Beaumont Skilled Nursing Center in Westborough.

She was born in Southbridge, MA the youngest daughter of Pandelly and Mary (Scarpo) Kraly and grew up there graduating from Mary E. Wells High School in 1946. Following high school, she worked in the Research Department at the American Optical Company in Southbridge. In 1956, Bess’ desire to travel took her on a journey to Greece and the Holy Lands visiting seven countries with 17 young women singing at various churches along the way. In 1960, she moved to Cambridge and began working at the Aurthur D. Little Company. While in Cambridge, she also worked for Intek Corporation in Lexington and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Bess’ love of singing led her to join the MIT Choral Society which she enjoyed from 1960 to 1967. 

In 1967, Bess married Stephen Mann MacNeille, Director of Research for the American Optical Company, whom she had met there years earlier. In 1970 they relocated to Southborough, MA. Bess and Stephen enjoyed travelling and summering on the coast of Maine at his home on Bailey Island. They shared many days sailing among the numerous islands of Casco Bay. Stephen passed away unexpectedly in 1972.

Bess joined the Plymouth Congregational Church Choir in Framingham and remained a member until 2005. During this time, she also became a member of the Boston Symphony Association of Volunteers serving as an Area Chairman for a time and remaining a member until the present day. Bess was also a longtime member and past President of the Southborough Garden Club. 

In 1978, Bess married Baron Manning Hartley. They enjoyed a circle of friends in Southborough and continued to enjoy travelling from time to time. Baron passed away in 1994.

Bess leaves her stepchildren, Robert MacNeille and his wife Kimberly; Stephanie MacNeille; Christine Kent and husband Craig; and Baron Hartley Jr. She also leaves her step grandchildren Alison Sudol, Lynn Andronaides, Jennifer Stupar, Joe MacNeille, Michael MacNeille, Stephen MacNeille, Caroline MacNeille, Matthew McCutcheon, and nieces and nephews, Harry Kraly, Mary Louise Ramsey, Jay Thayer, Mary Lynne Thayer and Jana McCabe. Bess was predeceased by her stepdaughters, Sally Hartley, Elizabeth MacNeille and Patricia Lark and her siblings, Anthy Thayer, Pat Hartley, Harry Kraly and George Kraly.

The family would like to express special thanks to the Personal Care Assistants and Nurses at Beaumont Westborough for their devoted care and attention during Bess’s time there.

A celebration of Bess’ life will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at the Morris Funeral Home, 40 Main Street, Southborough, MA 01772.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bess’ honor to the Plymouth Congregational Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham, Massachusetts, 01701-4835.

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(Obituary and photo via Morris Funeral Home)

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