Nora (Fleming) McGuinness
August 26, 1956 – July 9, 2020
Nora passed away on July 9, 2020 due to complications from breast cancer. However, make no mistake, Nora lived stubbornly - refusing most doctors orders for at least seven years. She was a proponent of self-advocated healthcare and believed that no one knows what is best for someone as keenly as oneself.
Nora was born in Cambridge, MA to Shannon and Erroll E. “Bud” Fleming. She was the second of four children. As a young family, they moved from Medford to Hudson MA, where she made lifelong friends in the Kent Drive / Stratton Hill neighborhood. She cherished her memories from this time and loved telling stories about life growing up and the irreplaceable friendships she made, adventures in babysitting neighbors, as well as riding horses with her brother, Bruce. It was possibly during this time that she learned to be chronically late. Her mother Shannon often joked that Nora’s headstone would read “I’m on my way,” due to her consistently turning up hours after saying this.
Nora attended Hudson High School, where she invested herself in her studies, love of the arts, and making things by hand. Some of her favorite memories are from her time spent on stage at school acting and singing. She had a beautiful singing voice and loved music. Later in life, her neighbors would recount hearing Nora’s singing through open windows when she was happiest, or blasting the Boston Pops on the fourth of July, as was the Fleming tradition inherited from her father, Bud.
After attending Framingham State, Nora met and married her first husband Gary: the lasting gift from their union would be Nora’s two wonderful children, Patrick and Lauren. She was a strong advocate that all experiences, whether good or bad, taught a lesson. Nora knew how to make lemonade, which was particularly helpful as she would step up to bat twice more in the name of love before learning she liked nothing better than calling her own shots.
If you were friends, it may have been hard to believe that she could become MORE outspoken in the last few years, particularly as women’s rights came under fire at a constitutional level. Nora worked her way up the ladder in corporate America and knew what it meant to work exponentially harder for what she deserved. She was a woman of unwavering morals and acted with conviction when faced with doing things “right,” or doing the right thing. She experienced misogyny and sexism first-hand, and had no problem telling anyone how it was going to be. This assertiveness was not limited to the workplace. Women from her mother’s side of the family were born with a fire – Martin women. Nora was a “pistol” just like her mother and grandmother, and she was incredibly proud of it.
Her career in corporate communications spanned four decades. Nora flourished in a corporate setting, and some may say this was where she was at her best. She was lauded for her accomplishments and sought after by executive recruiters. Nora was a mentor and advocate for women in the workplace and was incredibly generous with her time and experience, guiding others to excel.
Her personality was larger than life. Like a true celebrity, she wore sunglasses indoors and out. Her Jaguars were Racing Green. Her lovers were all foreign. She adored George Harrison, and the two of them actually ran into each other in Bolton, MA in the 90’s. George looked deeply into Nora’s eyes, without words he told her he loved her and asked her not to alert others to his presence, and the two parted ways. She lived well by the ocean in Rhode Island and travelled often, visiting at least ten different countries in the last eight years alone, understanding the value of experiencing the richness of other cultures and perspectives. She pronounced Budapest correctly. She golfed, fly-fished, and was a brutally competitive Gin Rummy player at family gatherings - mostly for fun, but always for money.
Like her razor-sharp wit, her generosity knew no bounds. She loved bringing people together and hosted yearly summer gatherings for friends and family on Cape Cod. Admittedly, she did not make dinner; she made reservations. This was where she was happiest though, seeing the people she loved enjoy themselves.
Nora leaves behind her son Patrick Peaslee and his partner Beth Crowley of MA, daughter Lauren Arthur and her husband Mike of WA, and Erin Murtagh and her husband Scott Rossow and daughter Thea Rossow of MA. Nora was a tireless provider, fierce protector, and was endlessly encouraging of her children’s happiness and path in life.
She leaves her older brother Brian Fleming and his wife Karen of CT, her younger brother Bruce Fleming of MA, and her younger sister Erin Fleming and her husband Patrick Tetzlaff of WI. Though there were occasional disagreements, there were copious amounts of laughter, and no one understood her better.
A special thanks is owed to: her angel Marcus, team of compassionate doctors and nurses, Ken Emonds, and all of her friends that are family; She is forever grateful for your light and love.
At this time, services for Nora will be privately held. Her Facebook will be memorialized, and when there is an opportunity to gather in her memory, information will be posted there. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Cancer research has come a long way, but has so much further to go.