Mary Margaret Sinis


Mary Margaret Sinis, née Hickey, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 13, 2024, at her home in Philadelphia, PA.

Mary was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, on August 15, 1947 to Denis and Marcella (née Hanley) Hickey.  She was a vibrant, adventurous little girl, and loved growing up alongside her two older sisters and many friends in the neighborhood.  Childhood was filled with rides on borrowed bikes, quiet moments listening to birds in the tree next door, going to the beach, and wonderful Christmas traditions.  During this time, Mary said she learned responsibility and faith from her father, and hard work and how to care for others from her mother.

Mary was educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph at Holy Cross Elementary School, and graduated from St Joseph's High School, where she had fond memories of working in the school library and participating in the Legion of Mary.  She attended Hunter College with the intention of following her sister Marcella into nursing, but quickly learned that studying education and history was the path for her.  Mary’s first job was at CBS in advertising sales, but her career was in teaching, where her patience, generosity, good humor, and great capacity to love came in handy.  She taught elementary school, primarily at St. Vincent Ferrer in Flatbush, and in NYC public schools in Astoria, where she was a substitute.  She was also a longtime volunteer at Ozanam Hall in Flushing, NY, a nursing home run by the Carmelite nuns, and at the Queens Public Library, where she also worked for several years.  

In 1969, Mary met Gregory Sinis, a recently arrived immigrant from Greece, at a dance.  She married him three years later.  They built their life in Queens with their daughter, Ellen.  Being a mother was Mary’s greatest joy in life.  Mary was a devoted wife for 32 years until Gregory’s much-too-early death; she loved him every day, and missed him every day he was gone.

In 2009, Mary left Queens to live closer to her daughter in Pennsylvania, and in 2014, she moved to Cathedral Village, a retirement community in Philadelphia, where she made many good friends, attended concerts and lectures, joined a book club, learned to knit, and played cards and mahjong. 

Throughout her life, Mary was always very close with her sisters, Marcella and Eileen. They spoke almost every day, and were a tremendous source of love, support, and happiness to her.  

Mary is preceded in death by her parents, Denis and Marcella Hickey, her beloved husband Gregory Sinis, her eldest sister, Marcella T. Hickey, and her brother-in-law, Louis Rinaldi.  She is survived by her loving daughter Ellen Sinis Badger and Ellen’s husband, Jeff Badger; her sister, Eileen Rinaldi; her nieces Christina DeVoll and husband David, Louisa Sorino and husband Fred; and her great-nieces and nephews, Marie, Teddy, Peyton, Jake, and Zac.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 19th, from 4-6 pm at Lownes Funeral Home, 659 Germantown Pike, in Lafayette Hill, PA, and Thursday, June 20th, from 10:30-11am at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 819 East Cathedral Road, Philadelphia, PA, with a funeral mass immediately following from 11am-12pm.  

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Sisters of St. Joseph, Mary’s educators as a child and caregivers during recoveries from surgeries later in life. The sisters can be reached at Mount Saint Joseph Convent, 9701 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118 or