Ursula O’Leary Kingston, 86

Ursula O'Leary Kingston
Ursula O'Leary Kingston

Ursula O’Leary Kingston passed away peacefully in her home at 107 West Fourth Street on Saturday evening, March 26, 2011. She was 86 years of age.

Mrs. Kingston was born in Oswego, the daughter of the late Joseph W. O’Leary, Jr., and Pauline Kane O’Leary. She was a true daughter of Oswego and for the most part lived her entire life here. She loved the bells of St. Mary’s and “her” Lake Ontario in all its seasons. She attended St. Mary’s School, Oswego High School, and the Oswego State Teacher’s College. She received her M.A. from Syracuse University in an era when few women did so. For her outstanding scholarship there, she was inducted into the Pi Lambda Theta honor fraternity.

She began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse. She taught in both the Fulton and Oswego school systems, and taught German at Hartwick College for a short time. Ursula retired from teaching 9th Grade English at Oswego High School in 1986. She was a member of the New York State Retired Teachers Association.

Mrs. Kingston was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church, but would often attend Masses and luncheons at other parishes. She was an active member of the Legion of Mary.

“Urs”, as she was fondly called, was passionate about the arts, most especially the opera, theatre, and anything musical. She adored flowers and her home was filled with them.

She is survived by her four daughters: Pauline (Polly) McCarthy of Oswego, Marcia Nelson of Ridgefield, CT, Mary Hattie of Peterborough, NH, and Jennifer Rose of Farmington, NY; four sons-in-law, James (Judge Jim) McCarthy, Richard T. (Dick) Nelson, Jr., Dennis Hattie, and Robert Rose; eleven grandchildren, Brendan, Christopher, and Megan McCarthy, Kelly (Timothy) Howard, Thomas Ukleya, Joanna Kingston, Jonathan and Ryan Nelson, Riordan McCole, Stephani and Christine Rose; four great-grandchildren, Logan and Owen Ukleya and Mathew and Jason Hutson; and one brother, David J. O’Leary of Florida. She is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Kingston was predeceased by her son, Thomas J. Kingston, and her husband, John F. Kingston. She was also predeceased by her brothers Joseph and Paul O’Leary, and her sisters Pauline Meade and Rosemary Knight.

Friends may call from 4:00-7:00 P.M. at the Dain-Cullinan Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 30th. Funeral services will be Thursday at 8:30 A.M. from the funeral home and 9:00 A.M. in St. Mary’s Church. Interment will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery.

Contributions in Mrs. Kingston’s memory may be made to St. Mary’s Church, 103 West Seventh Street, Oswego.


  1. Dear Aunt Ursy,

    We are so sad that you are gone but so happy you did it your way: healthy, happy, active, driving your own car and at home. From my very earliest memories you brought so much happiness to our lives. We knew it was summer when we went to Oswego for our long visits! How you took care of all us children is still a mystery. Thank you so much for the joy you brought all of us. I know you and Rosie are together now and have a lot of catching up to do. We will miss you greatly until we meet again.

    All our love,

    David, Joe, Jason, Alessandra & Isabelle

  2. Aunt Ursula,
    I will miss you so much. I always enjoyed our telephone conversations and looked forward to seeing you when ever I came to NY. You were Mom’s favorite cousin and more like a sister to her. God bless your soul always. Please pray for us.

    Love you,

  3. Mrs. Kingston was my 9th grade English teacher. She was always a great reminder of an earlier time when things like grace, class, dignity and civility were the norm, not the exception. She was demanding but fair and she had a wonderful sense of humor. She was a lady in the truest sense of the word.

    Bill Cahill

  4. Dear Kingston Family,
    I was fortunate to have Mrs. Kingston for 9th Grade English. She was a wonderful, kind and fair teacher. She always had a great smile and was so dedicated to her students. I would frequently see her at the grocery store and even after a few decades (plus) of being out of high school she still remembered me and always stopped to chat.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    God Bless.
    Bernice Finnegan Strother

  5. OMG. Loved her and she was one of my favorite teachers. So sorry to hear about her. We will all miss her dearly :(

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