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Mary-Ellen 'Mim' Comeau

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Published in Legacy Remembers on September 12, 2023

Salem – Mary-Ellen (Deschenes) Comeau, 65, of Salem, died Sept 11, 2023, peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones after 3 years of living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Born on June 4, 1958, to the late Richard “Dick” and Bernice “Olive” (Mateik) Deschenes, she was known to many as “Mim,” a nickname given by niece Lisa when she could not pronounce Mary-Ellen as a toddler.

Mim was devoted to family and friends throughout her life, living for 63 of her 65 years in the family home built by her grandfather over 100 years ago and remodeled by her father 70 years later.

Mim excelled at academics, studying at Ste. Chretienne Academy until it closed, then at Ste. Anne’s, before attending the Pingree School where she graduated in 1976 as valedictorian. In her youth, Mim was actively involved in local dance and theater productions and danced with Deane School of Dance in Salem. Her lifelong love of dance led her to Boston Ballet while in high school, where she attended company classes and performed in many Boston Ballet productions of the Nutcracker. Mim majored in biology and minored in chemistry while on the pre-medical track at Salem State College. While in college, she worked part time at Marshalls, where her mother Olive also worked, and 2 more generations went on to work there after. After graduating college Magna Cum Laude in 1980, Mim worked at Beverly Hospital before starting her career at Bishop Fenwick High School in 1981 where she fell in love with teaching, especially physics. Mim brought complex material to life with demonstrations and helped to expand the school’s science curriculum. Her work was recognized with the Outstanding Science Educator of the North Shore award in 1986.

Mim understood that learning didn’t stop at the classroom door. While she left Fenwick in 1998 with the birth of Olivia “Liv,” Mim was always surrounded by groups of curious kids – as a Girl Scout troop leader, on the sidelines of basketball games handing out snacks, as an impromptu ringleader of Liv’s friends at the park, and as a physics, math, and SAT tutor independently and with Boston Scholastic.

Mim loved going to Devereux Beach, first as a child with her family and later with her best friend Barbara. She also loved antiquing, gardening, visiting museums, playing tennis, and especially the many family trips to Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and Bretton Woods.

Mim will be lovingly remembered by so many, including her husband of 38 years, Jim, her little one, Liv (fianc?e Maddy Pfaff), sister Karen Hallinan, brother David Deschenes (Pat Stimpson), nieces and nephews Lisa McGoldrick (Jim), Tim Hallinan (Judy), Chris Hallinan (Sue) and Stacie Monagle (Chris), and great-nephews Steve, Jeff, Riley, Kyle, and Noah. She is predeceased by her parents, her brother Richard “Dana” Deschenes, and nephew Jason Deschenes.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Compassionate Care ALS. A celebration of Mim’s life will be held at a future date. If you would like to attend, please send a message to We will also be posting updates on

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